After Donald Trump’s late-night cryptic tweet that “Something very big has just happened!” and amid reports that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is believed to have been killed, Twitter users are reminding the president not to get ahead of himself in taking credit.
As CNN reported, the Islamic State leader is believed to have been killed in a U.S.-led raid in northwestern Syria on Saturday. Reports indicated that the militant leader detonated a suicide vest during the raid, and a final confirmation of his death is pending DNA and biometric testing. Baghdadi had long been a target for the U.S. military, and there were a number of reports that he had been killed in various attacks.
Trump announced that he would be holding a national announcement on Sunday at 9 a.m., but it didn’t take long for Twitter users to connect the dots and assume that Trump would be bragging about the leader’s death. Many flashed back to a 2012 tweet from Trump after then-President Barack Obama brought up in a presidential debate that his administration had taken out Osama bin Laden, with Trump saying that Obama doesn’t get to take credit for it.
“Stop congratulating Obama for killing Bin Laden,” Trump wrote. “The Navy Seals killed Bin Laden.”
Donald Trump has been under fire for his approach to Syria, where he abruptly announced that a small number of U.S. special forces would retreat from northern Syria to allow Turkey to conduct its long-awaited military operation there. The Turkish military then launched an attack on America’s Kurdish allies, leading to widespread criticism of Trump. A bipartisan group of lawmakers approved a series of sanctions on Turkey, but Trump lifted much of these after Turkey agreed to a cease-fire that allowed the country to maintain control of the areas of Syria it had taken during the raids.
Stop congratulating Obama for killing Bin Laden. The Navy Seals killed Bin Laden. #debate— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2012
If the US has killed Baghdadi, as some folks are suggesting, then I’ll be amused to see his MAGA loyalists who didn’t credit or respect Obama for killing Bin Laden heap praise on him for it #consistency https://t.co/xnjskuLV8a— Mehdi Hasan (@mehdirhasan) October 27, 2019
As CNN noted, the killing of Baghdadi would be seen as a major development in the fight against Islamic State, noting that the group’s leader has not been seen in years.
“Baghdadi, the leader of the terror group, has been in hiding for the last five years.” the report noted.
“In April, a video was published by the ISIS media wing al-Furqan that showed a man purporting to be Baghdadi. It was the first time Baghdadi had been seen since July 2014, when he spoke at the Great Mosque in Mosul.”
Donald Trump, in 2017, took to Twitter to accuse the New York Times of trying to foil an attempt by the U.S. military to kill Baghdadi.