Business Standard

Baghdadi's death 'turning point' in fight against terror: Erdogan


ANI Middle East
The elimination of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State (ISIS) terror organisation by US forces in Syria is a "turning point" in the fight against terrorism and Turkey is determined to continue contributing to it, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.
Erdogan made the comments after US President Donald Trump confirmed that al-Baghdadi "died like a dog, died like a coward" in an operation conducted by the US special forces in the Syrian province of Idlib.
"The killing of Daesh's (ISIS) ringleader marks a turning point in our joint fight against terrorism. Turkey will continue to support anti-terror efforts -- as it has done in the past. Having paid the dearest price in the fight against Daesh, PKK/YPG (Kurdistan Workers' Party and Kurdish People's Protection Units), and other terrorist organisations, Turkey welcomes this development. I am confident that a decisive struggle against terrorism, in line with the spirit of alliance, will bring peace to all of humanity," Erdogan said in a tweet.
Echoing similar sentiments, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that the death of al-Baghdadi was an important step in fighting against international terrorism.
"The US announcement on the operation against Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a significant step in our efforts against international terrorism. #NATO remains committed to the fight against our common enemy ISIS," Stoltenberg tweeted.
The German Foreign Ministry, in turn, pointed out the need to continue the fight against ISIS.
"That is an important step in the fight against IS, which must be continued to the full extent. Our thoughts are also today with numerous innocent victims of al-Baghdadi's terrorism," the ministry wrote on its Twitter handle.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that his country will work with its allies to end the "murderous and barbaric" activities of the ISIS.
"The death of Baghdadi is an important moment in our fight against terror but the battle against the evil of Daesh [another name for 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," he tweeted.
Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu also congratulated Trump on the US' raid that killed the ISIS chief. "This achievement is an important milestone, but the (anti-terrorist) campaign still remains," he said on Twitter.
Speaking at a press conference, Trump confirmed the death of the IS chief saying that "al-Baghdadi died inside a tunnel with three of his children, whimpering and crying and screaming all the way." He also said the DNA tests proved it was al-Baghdadi.
Earlier in the day, President Trump, without divulging details, had tweeted that "something very big has just happened."
Al-Baghdadi, the most notorious ISIS leader, had been in hiding for the last five years. According to a New York Times report, the terrorist was believed to have detonated a suicide vest during the raid conducted by the US military.
Back in April, al-Baghdadi appeared in a propaganda video a week after a series of bombings rattled Sri Lanka, in which more than 250 people were killed.
He first appeared in 2014 during a sermon at the Great Mosque in Mosul in Iraq. The speech marked the rise of the self-declared "caliphate" of the ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
The notorious ISIS leader had also periodically issued audio statements, with the last being in August 2018.
The US had earlier announced a reward of USD 25 million for information leading to al-Baghdadi's death or arrest.

Disclaimer: No Business Standard Journalist was involved in creation of this content

Don't miss the most important news and views of the day. Get them on our Telegram channel

First Published: Oct 28 2019 | 5:22 AM IST

Explore News