Despite nearly universal praise for the U.S. troops involved in the raid on Saturday that led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leading congressional Democrats were unhappy that the Trump Administration failed to brief them beforehand.
“I was told right before I came on,” Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday.” Swalwell added that nobody in the Democratic leadership, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, was informed of the raid.
In a national address on Sunday morning, Trump described a daring nighttime airborne raid by American special operations forces in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province and said they flew over heavily militarized territory controlled by multiple nations and forces. No U.S. troops were killed or injured in the operation, Trump said.
As U.S. troops bore down on al-Baghdadi, he fled into a “dead-end” tunnel with three of his children, Trump said, and detonated a suicide vest. “He was a sick and depraved man, and now he’s gone,” Trump said. “He died like a dog, he died like a coward.” Al-Baghdadi’s identity was positively confirmed by a DNA test conducted onsite, Trump said.
Pelosi, in a statement released shortly after the president’s address, thanked the U.S. Special Operations forces for carrying out the raid – praising “the heroism, dedication and skill of our military and our intelligence professionals” – but questioned why the Trump administration choose to notify other nations of the raid and not congressional lawmakers. – READ MORE