A senior Turkish official has told AFP that Baghdadi only arrived at his location 48 hours before the raid.
To the best of my knowledge, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi arrived at this location 48 hours prior to the raid. We have been in close coordination with the relevant parties.
The Turkish military did have advance knowledge of last night’s raid.
I can neither confirm nor deny that any intelligence was shared to facilitate last night’s operation.
This is from Turkey’s ministry of national defence. They say that they exchanged information with the US ahead of the operation, which is thought to have targeted Baghdadi.
On 10 January this year, Baghdadi survived a coup attempt launched by foreign fighters in his eastern Syrian hideout.
The incident took place in a village near Hajin in the Euphrates River valley, where the jihadist group was clinging to its last sliver of land.
Regional intelligence officials told our middle east correspondent Martin Chulov that a planned move against Baghdadi led to a firefight between foreign fighters and the fugitive terrorist chief’s bodyguards, who then fled with him to the nearby deserts.
Here’s his full report:
Baghdadi – who has led Isis since 2010, when it was still an underground al-Qaida offshoot in Iraq – has been the subject of an international manhunt for years and has a $25m bounty on his head. He was long thought to be hiding somewhere along the Iraq-Syria border.
On 16 September, Isis’s media network issued a 30-minute audio message purporting to come from Baghdadi, in which he said operations were taking place daily and called on supporters to free women jailed in camps in Iraq and Syria over their alleged links to his group.
In April he appeared in a video for the first time in five years, weeks after the remnants of the terrorist group were ousted from their last organised stronghold in the eastern Syrian desert. Baghdadi blamed the demise of Isis on the “savagery” of Christians.
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State terror group, is believed to have died in a US raid in north-western Syria overnight, intelligence officials have claimed. His death is unconfirmed.
Guardian correspondents Martin Chulov and Michael Safi report that the raid followed a month-long intelligence operation that had tracked Baghdadi to the region through a smuggler who had moved the wives of two of his brothers from Iraq to Idlib.
Donald Trump is due to make what has been described as a “major statement” in Washington at 9am on Sunday morning (1300 GMT).
The president tweeted on Saturday night:
You can read our full report here:
Intelligence officials told the Guardian that Baghdadi may have detonated a suicide belt as troops approached a house near the Turkish border in which he was hiding. The blast is thought to have also killed two of his wives.
Explosions and gunfire were reported from the small town of Barisha at about 1.30am local time on Sunday. It is understood that the Isis leader had been tracked to the home of one of his bodyguards who attempted to defend him. The raid is thought to have left at least nine people dead.
Iraqi state television aired footage on Sunday that it said showed the raid.
I’m Frances Perraudin and I’ll be live blogging as we find out more. You can contact me on Twitter on @fperraudin.