Two men were captured during the weekend raid on Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and are in US custody, the Pentagon has said.
Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Mark Milley said on Monday that the men were “in a secure facility”.
Gen Milley also announced that Baghdadi’s remains had been disposed of and there were currently no plans to share footage of his death.
Baghdadi killed himself during the Saturday raid in Syria, the US says.
“Baghdadi’s remains were transported to a secure facility to confirm his identity with forensic DNA testing and the disposal of his remains has been done and is complete and was handled appropriately,” Gen Milley told reporters at the Pentagon.
Gen Milley – who is the highest ranking member of the US military – said photos and video were going through “a declassification process”.
There were no further details about the detained men.
Baghdadi died from detonating a suicide vest after fleeing into a tunnel, chased by US military dogs, President Donald Trump announced during a news conference on Sunday.
Mr Trump had earlier suggested he might release some footage of the raid.
In response to a question about Mr Trump’s contention that Baghdadi had whimpered and cried before his death, Gen Milley said he was not aware where the information came from but added: “I assume it was [from] talking directly to unit members.”
Gen Milley also said that US troops would continue to protect oilfields from IS militants, though “at the end of the day, we will be sending troops home”.
“But in the meantime, we’re going to make some other moves to ensure that we can accomplish that mission of securing the oilfields in order to deny them access to Isis [IS].”
Mr Trump has said the US should be able to take some of the oil, but critics say doing so would violate the Geneva Convention’s laws against pillaging natural resources.
What did Trump say on Monday?
Speaking to reporters before boarding Air Force One on Monday, Mr Trump defended his decision to keep the US Congress in the dark about the raid, citing leak concerns.
He criticised Adam Schiff, who heads the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, one of three panels leading an impeachment probe against the president.
“They were talking about why didn’t I give the information to Adam Schiff and his committee, and the answer is I think Adam Schiff is the biggest leaker in Washington,” Mr Trump said.
Mr Trump did not provide specific evidence against the Democratic congressman, and also criticised the Democrat-led impeachment proceedings.
When asked whether he would release the footage of the raid – which he has likened to watching a “movie” – the president said: “We may take certain parts of it and release it, yes.”
Earlier, Mr Trump had said he spoke with Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Richard Burr over the weekend, but decided not to notify congressional leaders ahead of the raid because “Washington leaks like I’ve never seen before”.
“I told my people we will not notify them until our great people are out. Not just in, but out,” he said during a news conference announcing the raid on Sunday.
What’s the raid row about?
The Republican president’s decision to not notify congressional leaders about the raid has been controversial.
Typically, the White House informs select lawmakers – known as the Gang of Eight – about classified intelligence matters.
The “gang” includes the House Speaker, minority and majority leaders of both the House and Senate, as well as the chairs and ranking members of both chambers’ intelligence committees.
When al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was killed in 2011, the then-House intelligence chairman, Republican Mike Rogers, said the Obama administration had kept him informed of the situation.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday issued a statement saying the White House needed to inform Congress as US allies “deserve strong, smart and strategic leadership from Washington”.
She also accused Mr Trump of informing the Russians before US lawmakers about the raid. The president has said Russia was only informed that the US military was to fly over Russian-controlled areas.
Who was Baghdadi?
- What we know about US raid
- ‘Caliphate’ defeated but IS remains a threat
- Where IS is still active around the world
The jihadist group IS imposed a brutal rule in the areas under its control and was behind many attacks around the world. Although the US declared the “caliphate” defeated earlier this year, IS militants remain active in the region and elsewhere.
Baghdadi’s death is regarded as a major victory for Mr Trump as he faces heavy criticism from both political rivals and allies for his decision to pull US troops out of northern Syria.
No US personnel were killed but one of the dogs pursuing him was seriously injured in the explosion.
Gen Milley said the name of the dog was classified.
“We’re protecting the dog’s identity,” he said.