Former House Intel Committee Chair: 'No way we could have' killed ISIS leader without the Kurds

Former Rep. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersHillicon Valley: Tech CEOs brace for House grilling | Senate GOP faces backlash over election funds | Twitter limits Trump Jr.'s account The Hill's Coronavirus Report: INOVIO R&D Chief Kate Broderick 'completely confident' world will develop a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine; GOP boxed in on virus negotiations The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Barr's showdown with House Democrats MORE (R-Mich.) said there was “no way we could have done” the mission to kill ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi without the help of Kurdish troops.

Rogers, the former chair of the House Intelligence Committee, told Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperJuan Williams: Keep the spotlight on Trump's COVID failure Chicago mayor: We can't let federal officials 'play police' in our city Coronavirus testing czar: Nobody on task force 'afraid to bring up anything' to Trump MORE on CNN’s “State of the Union” that having the Kurds as allies and retrieving intelligence from them enabled the U.S. to successfully carry out this mission.

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“There’s no way we could have done this,” Rogers said. “Remember those Kurdish forces were pushing back on ISIS.” 

“All of that, Trump should understand how impactful that was,” he added. “That was a change in operating in Syria and it did make a significant difference to push back and eliminate their land holding.”

The Michigan Republican emphasized that Kurdish forces most likely provided intelligence leading to al-Baghdadi’s death.

“You can’t do it without those allies of which candidly we just walked away from,” he said. 

Former National Intelligence Director James ClapperJames Robert ClapperHillicon Valley: Democrats request counterintelligence briefing | New pressure for election funding | Republicans urge retaliation against Chinese hackers National security leaders, advocacy groups urge Congress to send election funds to states Trump's actions on China speak louder than Bolton's words MORE agreed that the Kurdish forces most likely played a vital role in the mission.

“I’m quite confident that our being on the ground and sharing tactical intelligence, ground-level intelligence with the Kurds, I’m quite sure had a lot to do with the success of this mission,” he said.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE announced the removal of U.S. troops from Syria earlier this month, after which Turkey launched an offensive against the U.S. Kurdish allies, who Turkey views as terrorists. Several bipartisan lawmakers condemned the announcement, worrying that the Kurds would view the removal as a “betrayal.” 


The U.S. military utilized the Syrian Democratic Forces, led by the Kurds, to complete the mission of killing al-Baghdadi.