Published On: Mon, Oct 28th, 2019

ISIS news: Was Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi killed just in time for Donald Trump election push? | World | News

Al-Baghdadi, who announced the creation of an Islamic “caliphate” in areas of Iraq and Syria in 2014, has symbolised the ISIS leadership over the past few years. Seven months after the fall of the so-called caliphate, his death will be a significant blow to the terrorist organisation. Mr Trump said in a press conference that al-Bagdhadi died after running into a tunnel and detonating his explosive vest, killing himself and three of his own children.

In a graphic description of the raid, the President said: “He died running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming all the way.

“He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children.”

This military operation, which Mr Trump described in great detail, is a major victory for his administration.

He is likely trying to gain maximum political capital from it, after he faced heavy criticism for his decision to pull US troops out of northern Syria.

READ MORE: Trump attacks EU as he lashes out at Europe’s role in ISIS fight

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Will Donald Trump benefit electorally from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi death? (Image: GETTY)

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Trump watches raid on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s compound (Image: GETTY)

Military chiefs reportedly told the President forces are still needed on the ground in Syria and, according to The Telegraph, officials warned him this could even jeopardise the mission to kill al-Baghdadi.

One source said: “The raid occurred largely in spite of, and not because of, Mr Trump’s actions.” 

Nevertheless, military actions like this have shown to provide a boost to incumbent US Presidents in their fight for reelection – good news for Mr Trump, who will be making his case for a second term next year. 

The most famous example of this is the death of Osama Bin Laden, the leader of the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda on May 2, 2011.

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Site hit by helicopter gunfire which reportedly killed nine people near Barisha, northwestern Syria (Image: GETTY)

President Barack Obama was mid-way through his first term as President and suffering in the polls when the raid on Bin Laden’s camp in Pakistan ended in him being shot by a Navy SEAL. 

Support for President Obama rose sharply in the aftermath, with 57 percent saying they approved of his overall job performance, up from 46 percent in the previous month, according to a New York Times/ CBS News poll.

It also saw an improvement in approval ratings specifically for his handling of foreign policy, the war in Afghainsatan and combating the threat of terrorism.

These results even stretched across the political divide, with approval among Republicans rising even more than it did among Independents and Democrats.

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President Barack Obama and team watch Osama Bin Laden raid (Image: GETTY)

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George W Bush on the phone to Tony Blair after Saddam Hussein capture (Image: GETTY)

Like Mr Trump, Mr Obama had announced plans to withdraw troops from the Middle East. 

His administration was planning a gradual drawdown of soldiers from Afghanistan starting that summer to be complete by 2014, despite most Americans believing the US had not completed its mission there – 60 percent believed this even after Bin Laden’s death. 

While Mr Obama enjoyed a huge 11-point improvement in approval ratings, George W Bush also saw a boost after the capture of Iraqi dictator Suddam Hussein in 2003.

Mr Bush’s approval rating shot up from 50 percent to 58 percent, but this bump evaporated within a month.

Nevertheless, Mr Bush still won himself a second term in office in the 2004 Presidential Election.

President Bill Clinton also received an improvement in approval ratings after his military intervention in Kosovo ended in a peace agreement in June 1999.

Overall approval jumped up from 53 percent in May 1999 to 60 percent in June, while 58 percent said Mr Clinton was the winner in the military action in Kosovo, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll.

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Bill Clinton addressing press on Kosovo conflict (Image: GETTY)

However, this improvement did not extent to Vice President Al Gore, who was the Democratic candidate to face off against Mr Bush in the 2000 election.

These incidents from recent US history show that military interventions that are seen as victories give the President a boost in popularity, something that could prove crucial in the upcoming election. 

This is especially true for Mr Trump, as his approval rating for foreign policy currently sits below his overall popularity – 39 percent versus 42 percent, according to CNN.

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