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US News Watching the Raid Was Like a Movie, the President Said. Except There Was No Live Audio.

14:50  28 october  2019
14:50  28 october  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Except There Was No Live Audio . Surveillance video provided a dramatic portrait of action outside the al-Baghdadi compound, but could not show what The experience, the president said , was “as though you were watching a movie .” What the president saw, according to military and intelligence

Except There Was No Live Audio . Surveillance video provided a dramatic portrait of action outside the al-Baghdadi compound, but could not show what The experience, the president said , was “as though you were watching a movie .” What the president saw, according to military and intelligence.

a group of people walking down a dirt road: An aerial view of the northwestern Syrian village where United States commandos conducted a raid, killing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. © Omar Haj Kadour/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images An aerial view of the northwestern Syrian village where United States commandos conducted a raid, killing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

WASHINGTON — In describing the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Sunday, President Trump used dramatic, even cinematic language to portray the daring American commando raid that brought down the Islamic State leader who, the president said, died “screaming, crying and whimpering.”

Mr. Trump described the video footage he watched from the White House Situation Room as “something really amazing to see.” The experience, the president said, was “as though you were watching a movie.”

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“He died like a dog, he died like a coward,” Trump said , saying al-Baghdadi died “whimpering and crying.” Conservative media immediately emphasized the political benefit of the raid to Trump, as in the Fox The operation was like watching a movie , except “ there was no live audio ” (this was the

Except There Was No Live Audio . NEW: The Baghdadi might have been like a movie , but Trump watched overhead drone video, not body cam footage--so he didn't see anyone whimper or cry. @helenecooper @Tmgneff.

What the president saw, according to military and intelligence officials, was overhead surveillance footage on several video screens that, together, provided various angles from above, and in real time.

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The videos included heat signatures of those moving around — which analysts labeled friend or foe — at the al-Baghdadi compound near Idlib, Syria.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: President Trump described viewing the video footage from the White House Situation Room “as though you were watching a movie.” © Al Drago for The New York Times President Trump described viewing the video footage from the White House Situation Room “as though you were watching a movie.” But those surveillance feeds could not show what was happening in an underground tunnel, much less detect if Mr. al-Baghdadi was whimpering or crying.

For that, Mr. Trump would have had to have gotten a report from the commandos directly, or relayed up through their chain of command to the commander in chief.

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" Watching the Raid Was Like a Movie , the President Said . Except There Was No Live Audio ." by HELENE COOPER, JULIAN E. BARNES and "Special Operations Raid Said to Kill Senior Terrorist Leader in Syria" by ERIC SCHMITT, MAGGIE HABERMAN and RUKMINI CALLIMACHI via NYT U.S

At the Pentagon on Sunday, officials steered clear of any description of Mr. al-Baghdadi whimpering or crying, and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, when pressed about the president’s assertion on ABC’s “This Week,” did not repeat the “whimpering” characterization.

“I don’t have those details,” Mr. Esper said. “The president probably had the opportunity to talk to the commanders on the ground.”

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A Defense Department official said on Sunday that it was certainly possible for Mr. Trump to have spoken directly with one or more of the commandos after the raid, or with their commanders who had spoken to members of the raiding party.

In addition to the version provided by Mr. Trump in lengthy televised comments, the accounting of what he saw was provided by a number of military, intelligence and administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the raid.

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Watch CBSN Live . Trump says ISIS leader "died like a coward" in U.S. raid in Syria. By Stefan Becket and Kathryn Watson. The president said he watched much of the raid from the White House Situation Room, alongside the secretary of defense and other top military and national security officials.

Footage relayed to US situation room was only overhead surveillance and had no audio .

Mr. Trump would not have received any real-time dialogue from the scene, the officials said, because the last thing American military planners want is to invite critique, second-guessing or even new orders from the Situation Room in the middle of an active military raid.

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In fact, in recent years American Special Operations forces have moved away from using helmet cameras to pipe back video in real time on every mission because it is often violent and disorienting, and invites instant quarterbacking from back in command centers.

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Perhaps because of the importance of this raid, though, the Delta Force operators were wearing body cameras, officials said, but those cameras do not broadcast in real time; instead the video in those cameras is configured to be downloaded and reviewed after the operation is complete.

At the time of Mr. Trump’s remarks, that footage had not been reviewed by senior commanders in the Pentagon or given to the White House. It is not clear whether the dog that followed Mr. al-Baghdadi into the tunnel was wearing a body camera.

Mr. Trump said he did not have to make any decisions in the moments of the raid, while troops were on the ground. (Military officials said they would never have asked him to).

  Watching the Raid Was Like a Movie, the President Said. Except There Was No Live Audio. © Reuters

“No,” Mr. Trump said in response to whether he had to make decisions on the fly. “We were getting full reports on literally a minute-by-minute basis. ‘Sir, we just broke in. Sir, the wall is down. Sir, you know, we’ve captured. Sir, two people are coming out right now. Hands up.’ ”

Then, Mr. Trump said, he was given a report: “‘Sir, there’s only one person in the building. We are sure he’s in the tunnel trying to escape.’”

“But it’s a dead-end tunnel,” Mr. Trump said he was told.

In the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader, in 2011, Leon E. Panetta, who then was serving as C.I.A. director, narrated the events unfolding in Abbottabad, Pakistan, to President Barack Obama and his national security advisers in the Situation Room.

Mr. Panetta was on a video screen as he spoke from C.I.A. headquarters, and was the one who informed the president when the Al Qaeda leader, code-named “Geronimo,” was positively identified by Navy SEALs as being in the house — and, later, when he was killed.

“Geronimo EKIA,” Mr. Panetta said, for Enemy Killed in Action.

It was unclear on Sunday whether Mr. al-Baghdadi similarly was given a code name for the Idlib raid.

Helene Cooper and Julian E. Barnes reported from Washington, and Thomas Gibbons-Neff from Kabul, Afghanistan.

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