Trump’s abrupt and unplanned decision to withdraw from Northern Syria almost wrecked months of planning and ruined the Baghdadi raid.
According to The New York Times:
Armed with that initial tip, the C.I.A. worked closely with Iraqi and Kurdish intelligence officials in Iraq and Syria to identify Mr. al-Baghdadi’s more precise whereabouts and to put spies in place to monitor his periodic movements, allowing American commandos to stage an assault Saturday in which President Trump said Mr. al-Baghdadi died.
But Mr. Trump’s abrupt decision to withdraw American forces from northern Syria disrupted the meticulous planning and forced Pentagon officials to press ahead with a risky, night raid before their ability to control troops and spies and reconnaissance aircraft disappeared, according to military, intelligence and counterterrorism officials. Mr. al-Baghdadi’s death, they said, occurred largely in spite of Mr. Trump’s actions.
The officials praised the Kurds, who continued to provide information to the C.I.A. on Mr. al-Baghdadi even after Mr. Trump’s decision to withdraw the American troops left the Syrian Kurds to confront a Turkish offensive alone. The Syrian and Iraqi Kurds, one official said, provided more intelligence for the raid than any single country.
Trump downplayed role of the Kurds during his Sunday morning press conference, “They gave us not a military role at all, but they gave us some information that turned out to be helpful, the Kurds.”
Trump spent more time profusely thanking Russia than he did thanking the people who provided more intelligence and made this raid possible more than any other country.
Donald Trump’s version of events is not adding up.
The mission was successful in spite of Trump, not because of him.
Trump nearly screwed everything up and allowed the ISIS leader to escape.
Donald Trump is going to spend the next year claiming that he got Baghdadi, but the reality is that the US and its allies got the leader of ISIS. Trump almost ruined everything.
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Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association