US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper warned on Monday that the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi will not resolve the security situation in Syria, which “remains complex,” while speaking to journalists in Washington, DC.
Esper stressed that US troops will secure oil fields "in the [north-east] region in order to deny ISIS access to those vital resources."
He warned that the US "will respond with overwhelming military force against any group who threatens the safety of our forces there."
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley added that the Pentagon was preparing to potentially share videos and photos of Baghdadi’s last moments alive. “They are going through a declassification process," he explained.
According to Milley, two adult males were taken as prisoners and are currently in the US’ custody following the reported mission to kill Baghdadi. There were no US fatalities, but a military dog was wounded while tracking down Baghdadi’s location. He is fully recovering and back on duty, said Milley. He refused to reveal his name or breed, claiming “it’s a classified unit and (we’re) protecting the dog’s identity."