From Russia to Riyadh, the world responds to Baghdadi's death

From Russia to Riyadh, the world responds to Baghdadi's death
Countries from Russia to Saudi Arabia have welcomed the death of Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
3 min read
28 October, 2019
Baghdadi died in a US special forces raid [Getty]

Countries across the world have welcomed - some with caution - the death of Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was killed on Saturday in a US special forces’ raid on his home in Syria.

Russia on Monday remained guarded about the US' claim about Baghdadi's killing, with the foreign ministry saying they were not fully certain about their veracity of the reports.

"If this information is confirmed we can talk about a serious contribution by the president of the United States to the fight against international terrorism," a foreign ministry spokesperson said, according to Reuters.

President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that Baghdadi was killed in a US strike in Idlib province, saying that he detonated his bomb vest after being chased into a tunnel by troops.

There have been numerous claims over the years - including by Russia - of the IS leader's demise, but 
most analysts and security experts believe that the US account this time is correct.

Trump said on Monday the government could release some of the video footage of the raid to back his claims that Baghdadi died "whimpering and crying" as he was pursued by US special forces' attack dogs.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed news of Baghdadi's death but said the battle against IS will continue despite the killing of their leader.

"The death of Baghdadi is an important moment in our fight against terror but the battle against the evil of Daesh [IS] is not yet over," he said on Twitter.

"We will work with our coalition partners to bring an end to the murderous, barbaric activities of Daesh once and for all."

France President Emmanuel Macron also said that the death of Baghdadi will be a major blow for IS but also "the fight continues to finally defeat this terrorist organisation".

Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry said it was working with the US and its allies to "combat terrorism".

"The Saudi government appreciates the great efforts of the US administration in pursuing the members of this dangerous terrorist organisation, which distorted the true image of Islam and Muslims around the world," it said in a statement.

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tweeted praise for the US regarding the raid.

"Having paid the dearest price in the fight against Daesh, PKK/YPG, and other terrorist organisations, Turkey welcomes this development," he tweeted.

"I am confident that a decisive struggle against terrorism, in line with the spirit of alliance, will bring peace to all of humanity."

Trump thanked Turkey, Russia and "Syria" in his speech on Sunday confirming the death of Baghdadi, who headed the Islamic State group.

He ruled over a self-described "caliphate" covering territories in Syria and Iraq captured by IS fighters, until the group's eventual defeat in March.

Security experts have warned the threat from the group continues to remain high.

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