(Reuters) – President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that fugitive Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had died in a raid by U.S. special forces in northwest Syria, in a major blow to the jihadist group.
FILE PHOTO: French Defence Minister Florence Parly speaks after a meeting of the Russian-French Security Cooperation Council in Moscow, Russia, September 9, 2019. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov
Baghdadi killed himself during the raid by detonating a suicide vest, Trump said in a televised address from the White House.
Here are reactions to the announcement:
Information Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi, on Twitter:
“Not a big deal, You just killed your creature” (accusing the United States, its longtime foe, of creating Islamic State)
Major-General Igor Konashenkov, quoted by RIA news agency:
“The Russian Ministry of Defense does not have reliable information on the operation by U.S. servicemen… on yet another ‘elimination’ of former IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.”
Konstantin Kosachyov, chairman of upper house of parliament’s foreign affairs committee, to Interfax news agency:
“… Last respects have been paid to al-Baghdadi at least five times in the past. (Also) countering terrorism is a much more difficult task than the physical destruction of its leaders, even the most irreconcilable.”
French Defense Minister Florence Parly on Twitter:
“Baghdadi: early retirement for a terrorist, but not for his organization. I congratulate our American allies with this operation. My thoughts thoughts today are for all the victims of the madness of Bagdhadi and the criminals who have followed him.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Twitter:
“The death of Baghdadi is an important moment in our fight against terror but the battle against the evil of Daesh (Islamic State) is not yet over. We will work with our coalition partners to bring an end to the murderous, barbaric activities of Daesh once and for all.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, on Twitter:
“Following the death of Daesh’s leader, we must not allow Daesh to glorify someone who actioned such inhumane & abhorrent criminal acts. The UK will continue to support efforts to #DefeatDaesh.”
Senior aide to President Tayyip Erdogan, Fahrettin Altun, in statement to Reuters:
“Turkey was proud to help the United States, our NATO ally, bring a notorious terrorist to justice … We remember today Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s civilian victims and our military heroes, who lost their lives to protect the world from Daesh (Islamic State) terrorists.
“Turkey, which has been a bulwark against terrorism, will continue to work closely with the United States and others to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. It is time to join forces and defeat all terrorist groups operating in the region without further delay.”
Statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
“I would like to congratulate President Trump on the impressive achievement that led to the assassination of the head of (Islamic State) al-Baghdadi. This reflects our shared determination, of the United States of America and of all free countries, to fight terror organizations and terrorist states. This achievement is an important milestone, but the campaign is still ahead of us.”
Reporting by Reuters bureaux; Compiled by Gareth Jones