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The White House announced on Sunday morning that US Special Forces have killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the chief of the Islamic State, in northwest Syria. President Trump had teased the “very big news” in a tweet on Saturday night.

Syrian Kurdish leaders indicated that they had been working for months with US forces to find Baghdadi — and played a key role in the military operation that culminated in his death. While the Kurds thanked Trump for the attack on Baghdadi, they remain highly critical of the US president’s decision to withdraw US forces from Syria.

“Last night the United States brought one of the world’s most wanted terrorists to justice,” Trump said. “Capturing or killing Baghdadi has been the top national security priority of my administration.” He said, “I got to watch much of it,” adding that the ISIS leader died “whimpering and crying,” and that he had killed himself and three children with a suicide vest when cornered.

Trump also said that US forces had established Baghdadi’s identity with DNA evidence and seized valuable intelligence materials from the house where the raid occurred. “At my direction, as commander-in-chief of the United States, we obliterated his caliphate 100 percent last March,” he said, recalling the ISIS murders of Americans and a Jordanian pilot “who was burned alive in a cage for all to see” and the “genocidal mass murders” of Christians and Yazidis in Iraq.

Baghdadi “was a sick and depraved man, and now he’s gone…He died in a sick and violent way.”

Trump thanked “Russia, Turkey, Syria, and Iraq, and the Syrian Kurds for certain support they were able to give us,” as well as the US military personnel who carried out the raid and their commanders.

IMAGE: A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a still image taken from video. REUTERS/Social Media Website via Reuters TV 



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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Doug Mastriano

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Doug Mastriano is a QAnon conspiracy theorist and January 6 insurrectionist who this week won the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania governor. Mastriano is also anti-Muslim: He previously shared an image with the words, “Stop Islam” and a post claiming that “the American People have a right to be fearful of the prospect of a large number of muslims being elected to congress, specifically if they practice Sharia law.”

In addition to running for governor, Mastriano is a Pennsylvania state senator, a right-wing commentator, and a frequent guest in right-wing media. He regularly pushes lies about the 2020 election being stolen from former President Donald Trump.

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