The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) say their spy stole Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s underwear which was then DNA tested and used to prove his identity before he was killed.
Senior SDF commander Polat Can claims their source also played a vital role in tracking down the Islamic State (IS) leader’s location before an operation by US special forces in Syria.
Baghdadi killed himself in the raid.
US President Donald Trump has downplayed the role of Kurdish forces.
3 – Our own source, who had been able to reach Al Baghdadi, brought Al Baghdadi’s underwear to conduct a DNA test and make sure (100%) that the person in question was Al Baghdadi himself.
— بولات جان Polat Can (@PolatCanRojava) October 28, 2019
When announcing the raid on 27 October, Mr Trump said the Kurds provided “helpful” information but added that they had not carried out “a military role at all”.
Mr Can insisted the SDF played an important part in the raid in a Twitter thread posted on Monday.
“All intelligence and access to al-Baghdadi as well as the identification of his place were the result of our own work. Our intelligence source was involved in sending coordinates, directing the airdrop, participating in and making the operation a success until the last minute,” he said.