Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the chief of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has been killed, United States President Donald Trump announced on Sunday, several hours after US media reported the dreaded terrorist had been targetted in a US operation in northwest Syria .
"Last night the United States brought the world's number one terrorist leader to justice. Abu Bakr al-baghdadi is dead," Trump said.
"He was the founder and leader of ISIS. The most ruthless and violent terror organization anywhere in the world.
"The United States has been searching for Baghdadi for many years. Capturing or killing Baghdadi has been the top national security priority of my administration," he said.
"We knew we were travelling in dangerous territory, going in and going out was not easy" he added.
The US President further said that from his first day at the White House, he wanted to get hold of Baghdadi.
"Baghadadi had been on the run for many years, long before I took office," Trump said, adding his "caliphate had been obliterated in March this year."
"Baghdadi died like a dog. He died like a coward," he said, adding Baghdadi was "crying and whimpering."
In his much-anticipated address to the world, Trump thanked Russia, Syria and Kurds for their efforts, and Israel for its intelligence inputs that helped execute the operation.
Taking some questions after the address, Trump said: "I got to watch it (operation). Russia was terrific. Iraq was terrific," he said, adding Turkey was also in the know of US' plans.