On Sunday afternoon, the General Command of the Syrian Democratic Forces held a press conference in al-Hasakah on the latest developments and the killing of ISIS leader Abo Bakr al-Baghdadi.
The statement was read in Kurdish by the Public Relations Officer of the SDF Redur Khalil, and in Arabic by the spokesman of the SDF Keno Gabriel.
The statement included:
As a result of the delicate and sensitive joint work of more than 5 months between the Military Intelligence of the Syrian Democratic Forces (Ewlekarî) and the American forces, and in coordination at the highest levels, the head of the Islamic State terrorist organization, Abo Bakr al-Baghdadi, was eliminated in a joint operation on Sunday at dawn near a Turkish military base in Barisha village in the northern countryside of Idlib province.
This historic achievement was the result of the close cooperation between the SDF and the United States of America.
We in the Syrian Democratic Forces note that this operation was delayed for more than a month due to the Turkish aggression on our region, and we consider the operation as a revenge for the massacres committed by the terrorist organization in Kobanê, Şengal, al-Khabour, Nineveh Plain, Kirkuk, Khanqin, and Makhmour, a revenge for the Kurdish Yezidi women in particular, and a revenge for humanity and the victims left as a result of ISIS crimes committed worldwide.
The operation took place after our Military Intelligence documented over the past months the presence of top-ranking ISIS leaders - including al-Baghdadi - in areas under the military control of the Turkish state, and we have noted the media for some of these details after the liberation of al-Baguz town.
We warn the world of the danger that jihadi factions with the Turkish army may enter Serêkaniyê / Ras al-Ain and Girê Spî / Tel Abyad areas, which provide a fertile environment for IS revival, which poses a threat to the region and the international community as a whole. We have already indicated that ISIS and its leaders moved to areas controlled by the Turkish army and its affiliated factions in Idlib, Afrin and the so-called "Euphrates Shield" areas, and the recent operation that led to the killing of al-Baghdadi, is tangible evidence of the authenticity of our information.
We, the Syrian Democratic Forces, while thanking all parties and forces that contributed to the success of this historic process, we affirm our continued joint work with the International Coalition led by the United States of America, and our Intelligence Services will increase the pace of work to pursue and combat ISIS leaders and cells.