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World reacts to death of ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

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Al-Baghdadi killed himself after running into a tunnel during a US operation in northwest Syria.

Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL or ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed in a US military raid, President Donald Trump has confirmed.

During a press conference on Sunday, Trump said al-Baghdadi had been “under surveillance for a couple of weeks”.

According to the US President, the ISIL chief died after running into a tunnel in the village of Barisha, where he detonated an explosive vest killing himself and three of his children.

In the announcement, Trump thanked Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Russia and the Syrian Kurds for their cooperation.

World reaction to the news has been divided, with some leaders hailing it as a turning point in the fight against “terrorism” while some governments played down its down significance.

Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Baghdadi’s killing “marked a turning point in our joint fight against terrorism.”

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Russia

The Russian defence ministry reacted to the news with scepticism, saying “it had no reliable information on the US operation.”

“The Russian Ministry of Defense does not have reliable information on the US servicemen conducting in the Turkish-controlled part of the de-escalation zone of Idlib an operation on yet another ‘elimination’ of the former IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” Major-General Igor Konashenkov was quoted by local news agency RIA as saying.

Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, labelled the event as an “impressive achievement.”

“This reflects our shared determination, of the United States of America and of all free countries, to fight terror organisations and terrorist states,” a statement from his office read. 

“This achievement is an important milestone, but the campaign is still ahead of us,” it added.

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Iran

Iran’s information minister, Mohammed Javad Azari-Jahromi said in a tweet that the killing of al-Baghdadi was “not a big deal. You just killed your creature”. The minister did not elaborate, but Iran has often accused the US of creating ISIL, without providing evidence.

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Bahrain

Bahrain Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa praised the move and said it was a “fatal blow to the group.”

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Translation: “The killing of the criminal Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a severe blow to the ISIL terrorist organisation. We salute our brothers and allies on their efforts and success in finding him and getting rid of him.”

France

French Defence Minister Florence Parly congratulated the US, but cautioned that the fight against ISIL will continue. 

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Translation: “Baghdadi: Early retirement for a terrorist, but not for his organisation. We will continue the fight against Daesh [ISIL] without rest, with our partners, adapting ourselves to new regional circumstances.”

“I congratulate our American allies for this operation. My thoughts today are for all the victims of the madness of Baghdadi and the criminals who have followed him.”

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United Kingdom

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said this was “an important moment,” but also warned the battle against ISIL “is not yet over.”

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Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)

The commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Mazloum Abdi said this achievement was a result of a “joint intel cooperation.”

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SOURCE: AL JAZEERA NEWS

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