WASHINGTON (AFP) – The body of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was buried at sea by the US military after he killed himself during the weekend raid on his Syrian hideout, a Pentagon source revealed.
No details were given on where or when the body was disposed of, but it paralleled the 2011 sea burial of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after he was killed in a US forces raid.
"The disposal of his remains has been done, is complete and was handled appropriately," said General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Milley said the burial took place based on standard US military procedures and "in accordance with the law of armed conflict."
Daesh chief took his own life with a suicide vest. He had been chased down a dead-end subterranean tunnel under a hideaway in northwest Syria in the weekend raid.
His body was removed from the site for identification, and disposed of after biometrics and DNA tests confirmed it was Baghdadi, according to media reports.
US President Donald J Trump
confirmed that Daesh supremo Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been killed in an operation conducted by American forces.
“The number one terrorist in the world has been killed,” said Trump in a video message. “He was killed by an operation conducted by the US forces. Baghdadi was in a ditch.”
The elusive chief of Daesh was thought to be dead after a US military raid in the Idlib region, US media reported early on Sunday.
The White House announced President Donald Trump would make a major statement on Sunday at 9:00am (1300 GMT), without providing details. A war monitor said US helicopters dropped forces in an area of Idlib where “groups linked to Daesh” were present.
Trump said that Baghdadi had killed himself in a suicide bomb attack. He said that the explosion also killed three of Baghdadi’s children.