Once again, President Trump is prancing about taking credit for a victory that belongs to the people he casually betrayed without a second thought. U.S. and Syrian Democratic Forces officials are reporting that the information that led to the killing of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi came from the SDF, who allegedly had an informant planted in Bagdhadi’s camp.
Kurdish Gen Mazloum tells .@BenjaminHallFNC: The SDF provided the location, the details about the Baghdadi compound, the tunnels, and how many people were with him. The SDF knew this because of a source inside ISIS.
An SDF member was on the raid helping US.
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) October 28, 2019
President Trump has spent the past two days crowing about how he personally is responsible for the death of one of the world’s worst terrorists, immediately weaponizing the event for his own political agenda by running ads on Facebook praising his “fierce leadership.” The only mention that the Kurds got in his bizarre, self-congratulatory victory speech was a begrudging acknowledgment that they gave us “information that turned out to be helpful.”
But like his insistence on taking credit for the defeat of the physical ISIS caliphate in northern Syria, the credit for both acts belongs to the men and women of the SDF and the Kurdish YPG.
General Mazloum tells me the the SDF had a source inside ISIS who was at the compound during the attack. He was brought back safely by the Americans. It was he who passed on the location, details of tunnels, and people there. A source at the heart of ISIS is unheard of @foxnews pic.twitter.com/5lV7AC0oWm
— Benjamin Hall (@BenjaminHallFNC) October 28, 2019
The raid happened thanks to the incredible bravery of the SDF spy and their tireless efforts to track Baghdadi as he fled from his former capital of Raqqa to the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor and then into Idlib province, likely by way of Turkey. The spy reportedly smuggled out a pair of Baghdadi’s underwear for DNA confirmation that it was really him and also reported that the terrorist mastermind was planning to flee next to Jarablus, a Syrian city seized by Turkey in 2018’s Euphrates Shield operation.
3 – Our own source, who had been able to reach Al Baghdadi, brought Al Baghdadi’s underwear to conduct a DNA test and make sure (100%) that the person in question was Al Baghdadi himself.
— بولات جان Polat Can (@PolatCanRojava) October 28, 2019
The truth of the matter is that the raid happened in spite of Donald Trump, not because of him. His appalling decision to withdraw all American forces from northern Syria and to allow the Turks to launch an invasion of SDF territory two weeks ago nearly kept the operation from happening at all.
11,000 SDF warriors lost their lives in the war against ISIS, and Trump rewarded them by offering their lands, their homes, and their families up to the Turks and their jihadist proxies on a silver platter. To see him try to take credit for an operation that wouldn’t have happened without their help is truly infuriating. We cannot allow the president to turn this into a talking point for his re-election chances when he doesn’t deserve one iota of credit.
Please consider supporting the fund. Thank you!
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.