The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces SDF say their spy stole Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s underwear which was then DNA tested and used to prove his identity before he was killed.
Senior SDF commander, Polat Can claims their source also played a vital role in tracking down the Islamic State IS leader’s location before an operation by US special forces in Syria.
Baghdadi killed himself in the raid.
US President Donald Trump has downplayed the role of Kurdish forces.
When announcing the raid on October 27, Mr Trump said the Kurds provided “helpful” information but added that they had not carried out “a military role at all”.
Mr Can insisted the SDF played an important part in the raid in a Twitter thread posted on Monday.
“All intelligence and access to al-Baghdadi as well as the identification of his place were the result of our own work. Our intelligence source was involved in sending coordinates, directing the airdrop, participating in and making the operation a success until the last minute,” he said.
Mr Can added that the SDF had been working with the CIA to track Baghdadi since May 15, and had discovered that he was hiding in Idlib province, where the raid took place.
The source, says ”Mr Can, had found out that the IS leader was about to move to a new location in Jarablus.”
The SDF have been key allies of the US in the battle against the Islamic State IS group, but earlier this month Mr Trump pulled American troops out of northern Syria.
Analysts say ”the US withdrawal in effect gave Turkey the green light to begin a cross-border assault on the region.”