US secrecy on Baghdadi raid exposes distrust of NATO ally Turkey

US raid evaded Turkey’s Incirlik base…

Islamic State (IS) group chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was found and killed over the weekend in northern Syria just a few miles from the Turkish border in a US raid that evaded Turkey’s Incirlik base, in a sign of the increasing distrust between US and Turkish militaries.

The compound where Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was targeted early Sunday is located near the village of Barisha in northwestern Syria barely three miles from the Turkish border in Idlib, a province that has come to be known as “the last refuge of Syrian rebels” resisting President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

But it was an odd last refuge for the self-styled “caliph” of the IS group – one that underscores the conflicting interests of the players, and their backers, in the Syrian war. While the international community has welcomed Baghdadi’s killing, his location and the manner in which the US raid was planned and executed highlights the security threats that still dog the region and beyond.

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