Monday, October 28, 2019

Pence: 'All credit' for al-Baghdadi raid goes to Trump's 'decisiveness' and special operations forces

Zack Budryk 
11:06 AM EDT

Vice President Pence on Sunday morning called Saturday, when ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a raid in northern Syria, a “great day for America” and said the outcome was a testament to President Trump’s “decisiveness.”

“It’s a tribute to the courage of our armed forces, special forces that executed the raid on the compound last night, but it’s also a tribute to the decisiveness of President Donald Trump,” Pence said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Pence told CBS’s Margaret Brennan that the White House received intelligence indicating a “high probability” that al-Baghdadi was in the compound in Idlib province, where officials said he was ultimately killed after detonating a suicide vest.

“It was Saturday morning that we received the actionable intelligence that allowed the decision that the president had made to move forward to happen, and it was incredible to be in the Situation Room and to see this unfold in real time,” Pence said.

"All the credit goes here to the decisiveness of this commander in chief and the courage and professionalism" of special operations forces, he added.

With the death of al-Baghdadi, Pence said that "we believe we’ll have a measurable impact on the effectiveness of that terrorist organization, but we’re not going to let up. We’re not going to stop the fight."

Pence also defended Trump’s decision to remove U.S. troops from northern Syria, which has prompted accusations of betrayal of Kurdish forces in the region, who Trump said Sunday provided intelligence that contributed to the raid. Pence said that as the father of a U.S. Marine he "couldn’t be more grateful that we have a commander in chief that is always asking whether American forces have to be in harm’s way."

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