Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of ISIS, targeted in U.S. raid in Syria

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By Courtney Kube and Dennis Romero  with NBC News World News
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of ISIS, targeted in U.S. raid in Syria
A still from video purportedly showing the chief of the Islamic State group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.   -   Copyright  Al-Furqan media

The world's most wanted terrorist, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was the target of a deadly U.S.-led raid in northwestern Syria, sources told NBC News early Sunday.

Forensic testing is underway, but officials believe al-Baghdadi is among the dead, the sources said.

A U.S. Special Ops mission targeted the ISIS leader near Barisha, Syria, overnight in a mission that included helicopters, jets and U.S. drones. The U.S. fired from the air and then landed and gathered intelligence, the sources said. Several others were also killed in a convoy.

There were no reports of U.S. casualties.

The White House has said the president will make a statement at 9 a.m. Sunday. It did not provide additional details.

Saturday night Trump appeared to foreshadow the news on Twitter. "Something very big has just happened!" he posted.

Until April, al-Baghdadi had not been seen for five years. That month ISIS, released an 18-minute video in which a bearded man resembling al-Baghdadi appeared sitting cross-legged on the ground with an assault-style weapon propped up against a wall and praised terrorists who carried out Easter bombings of churches in Sri Lanka.

For years, reports have circulated questioning whether al-Baghdadi is alive. Some reports have claimed that he was killed in a U.S. ordered-drone strikes, while others said he was hiding out in remote regions of Syria or Iraq.

Al-al-Baghdadi has led ISIS since 2010.