Presidential Citation to Army Special Forces Unit That Took Out Al-Baghdadi

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A Presidential Citation was awarded to the Army Special Forces Unit that took out Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in 2019.  President Trump visited Fort Bragg, North Carolina in order to give the special citation to the unit, and met with the men for about an hour.

“It was a really special moment. Meant a lot to the president.  He was with our heroes for about an hour just having casual conversations, answering questions.” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany to Fox

The Army Special Force unit’s operation was called “Operation Kayla Mueller” after the young woman who was captured, raped, and killed by the ISIS leader. It took place in the province of Idlib, in Northwestern Syria, October of 2019.

Presidential Citation

Military Times reported,

Trump flew into Fort Bragg, North Carolina, on Thursday for what the White House described as “troop engagement.” It was conducted outside the view of the press corps traveling with him.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters traveling with Trump on Air Force One after the visit that Trump presented the troops with a Presidential Unit Citation and visited a Special Forces memorial on the sprawling military base.

Presidential unit citation ribbon

A Presidential citation for a unit is only given to units that act with “exceptional heroism” over and above that of other units in the same campaign.

According to the Army, “The unit must display such gallantry, determination, and esprit de corps in accomplishing its mission under extremely difficult and hazardous conditions as to set it apart and above other units participating in the same campaign. The degree of heroism required is the same as that which would warrant award of a Distinguished Service Cross to an individual.”

Conan, the Military Working Dog that assisted in the take down of the ISIS leader, was awarded previously.

The continuing fight against such radical Islamic terrorists was marked by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement on the anniversary of Al-Baghdadi’s demise:

One year ago the United States, in conjunction with the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS and our local Iraqi and Syrian partners, launched an operation that took out Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the founder and leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This followed the destruction of ISIS’s fraudulent territorial “caliphate” and was another major victory in the mission to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS. We have been clear in our words and our actions that we will not allow ISIS to reconstitute.

Baghdadi led the ISIS terrorist movement and inspired one of the most brutal and misguided terror campaigns in modern history. Since al-Baghdadi’s death the United States and our Coalition partners have continued to pursue any remaining ISIS leaders and fighters and bring them to justice. Our continued campaign against ISIS has kept the terrorist organization’s leadership in a constant state of disarray and disrupted ISIS’s ability to organize and plan attacks.

While we celebrate this critical milestone in the fight against ISIS, the work of the Global Coalition is far from complete. ISIS remains a significant threat and it is vital that we keep continuous pressure on ISIS remnants in Iraq and Syria and strengthen our collective efforts to defeat ISIS’s branches and networks around the world, on which ISIS has increasingly focused attention since the defeat of the fraudulent caliphate. We remain committed to the Coalition and our mission to ensure a lasting defeat of ISIS.

Congratulations to the Special Forces unit on their Presidential citation award!

 

Featured photo: file of Fort Bragg entrance

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