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

Former Rep. Mike RogersMichael (Mike) Dennis RogersHillicon Valley: FBI to now notify state officials of cyber breaches | Pelosi rips 'shameful' Facebook | 5G group beefs up lobby team | Spotify unveils playlists for pets 5G group beefs up lobby team House Homeland Security rip DHS's 'unacceptable' failure to comply with subpoena 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 TapperSteyer says 'grassroots organizing' in Nevada, South Carolina got him on debate stage Pentagon chief says he 'didn't see' intelligence suggesting Iran planned to attack four US embassies Ex-White House press, military officials call on Grisham to restart regular briefings 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 ClapperTrump predicts 'historic' conclusions from DOJ's watchdog report on 'spying' The curious timeline for taking down Trump Fairness, tradition, and the Constitution demand the 'whistleblower' step forward 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 TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign 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.