A Kurdish source with direct access to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi provided the U.S. with intelligence, including his used underwear and a blood sample, the head of the Kurdish forces said Monday.
General Mazloum Abdi of the Syrian Democratic Forces told NBC News’s Richard Engel that his intelligence service’s informant passed along information useful for the U.S. mission to kill the ISIS leader.
He said this also included information on the room-by-room layout of al-Baghdadi’s hideout, the number of guards protecting him and tunnels around al-Baghdadi’s compound.
The informant, who Abdi described as one of al-Baghdadi’s security advisers, left the scene with U.S. forces after the raid, Abdi told NBC News.
He gave used underwear and a sample of blood to prove his access to al-Baghdadi this summer. U.S. intelligence tested the samples and obtained a positive DNA match for the ISIS leader.
A Kurdish official told NBC News the source took the underwear about three months ago and the blood sample about one month ago.
President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge schedules hearing for ex-Trump aide who refused to appear in inquiry READ: Army officer to tell investigators he twice reported concerns over Trump’s Ukraine dealings Murkowski, Collins say they won’t co-sponsor Graham’s impeachment resolution MORE said the Kurds provided intelligence that helped the mission during his announcement of the ISIS leader’s death.
Abdi also celebrated the success of the mission in a tweet, tagging the president.
The Kurdish forces, who assisted the U.S. in fighting ISIS, said Sunday that they are retreating from the Syrian-Turkish border after Turkey launched an offensive against them following Trump’s announcement that U.S. troops would leave northern Syria.
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U.S. politicians on both sides of the aisle have criticized Trump’s decision to remove troops, saying the U.S. was abandoning its Kurdish allies.