Donald Trump in Situation Room as US Special Operations forces close in on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. (AFP)
It started with eight helicopters flying low in the dark across hostile territory. It ended two hours later with one of the most wanted men in the world cornered by US soldiers, then blowing himself up.
And thousands of miles away in the White House Situation Room, President Donald Trump says he witnessed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s end on video in amazement.
“As though you were watching a movie,” he said.
In extended questions and answers Sunday after announcing the raid, Trump said that Baghdadi had been “under surveillance for a couple of weeks.”
As soon as confirmation came in about his location, the raid by special forces swung into motion Saturday.
“A large group” took part, with “eight helicopters, and we had many other ships and planes,” Trump said.
First, they had to cross hostile territory from a still-undisclosed location into northwest Syria, flying about one hour and 10 minutes.
“We flew very, very low and very, very fast. But it was a big — it was a very dangerous part of the mission. Getting in and getting out,” Trump said.
“There was a chance that we would have met unbelievable fire,” he said.
And when they landed at the targeted compound, “all hell broke loose,” according to Trump.
“Only one person” left
“A large crew of brilliant fighters ran out of those helicopters and blew holes into the side of the building” to avoid booby traps in any…