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Great day for America, say U.S. leaders after Baghdadi’s death

U.S. President Donald Trump, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (2nd L), U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper (3rd R), along with members of the national security team, watch as U.S. Special Operations forces close in on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in the Situation Room of the White House in Washington, U.S. on October 26, 2019.

U.S. President Donald Trump, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence (2nd L), U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper (3rd R), along with members of the national security team, watch as U.S. Special Operations forces close in on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in the Situation Room of the White House in Washington, U.S. on October 26, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

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Top U.S. leaders react to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Congratulating American troops for their daring air raid in northwest Syria that led to the death of ISIS leader and the world’s most wanted terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, top U.S. leaders on Sunday described it as a great day for America.

“It is truly a great day in America! Congratulations to President Trump, our intel community, and our US Special Forces for eliminating the most wanted terrorist in the world,” said Nikki Haley, Indian-American leader and former U.S. Ambassador to the UN.

“This is a great day for United States, the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, and people all across the world who have suffered far too long from the cruelty of terrorism,” said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The ISIS leader was taken down by the U.S. Special Forces during an air raid in his hideout in northwest Syria on Saturday night.

“While there is still work left to do to ensure ISIS’s enduring defeat, Baghdadi’s death follows the path of scores of other ISIS leaders that have been removed from the battlefield and can no longer commit heinous atrocities or spread their vile ideology of hatred to poison and recruit vulnerable minds. His evil acts of beheadings, enslavement of women, rape, torture, and pure brutality follows him to his grave,” Mr. Pompeo said.

“This is a great day for America and a great day for the world. Last night, U.S. joint special operations forces and interagency partners flawlessly executed a Commander-in-Chief directed operation to capture or kill Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. As a result, al-Baghdadi, who led the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria terrorist movement and inspired one of the most brutal and misguided terror campaigns in modern history, is dead at the hands of the United States military,” said Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper.

“With our partners we defeated the physical caliphate of ISIS earlier this year and now its founder and leader is dead. This is a major victory in the enduring defeat ISIS mission. I want to commend all those participating in and supporting the operation – American and partners alike – for a job well done,” Mr. Esper said.

Former U.S. Vice President and Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden congratulated special forces, intelligence community, and all the brave military professionals on delivering justice to the terrorist al-Baghdadi.

“It is thanks to their courage and relentless determination to carry out their mission that ISIS has suffered a vital loss,” he said.

As the key figure behind the creation of ISIS, Baghdadi’s corrosive message inspired attacks that claimed thousands of innocent lives around the world, including in the United States, he said.

He proclaimed not the teachings of Islam, but a warped ideology of hate and brutality, built on mass slaughters, public executions, the enslavement of ethnic and religious minorities, and evils that have no place in any society. The world is better and safer without him in it, Mr. Biden said.

“We cannot afford to get distracted or take our eye off the target. ISIS remains a threat to the American people and our allies, and we must keep up the pressure to prevent ISIS from ever regrouping or again threatening the United States,” Mr. Biden said.

“Americans salute the heroism, dedication and skill of our military and our intelligence professionals and acknowledge the work of our partners in the region. We are relieved that no U.S. personnel died in this daring raid,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.

Ms. Pelosi demanded that the House be briefed on the raid, which the Russians, but not top Congressional leadership, were notified of in advance, and on the administration’s overall strategy in the region.

“The death of al-Baghdadi is significant, but the death of this ISIS leader does not mean the death of ISIS. Scores of ISIS fighters remain under uncertain conditions in Syrian prisons, and countless others in the region and around the world remain intent on spreading their influence and committing acts of terror,” Ms. Pelosi said.

“This morning’s announcement should confirm for the world what many already knew — that terrorists cannot outlast or outmatch the commitment of the U.S. counter-terrorism apparatus. We will not stop or waver in destroying terrorist leaders wherever they hide,” House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy said.

“I applaud yesterday’s heroic actions by our U.S. special operations forces and intelligence services to root out and eliminate the top leader of the oppressive Islamic State terrorist group,” said Senator Johnny Isakson.

Senator Jim Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the brave special operations forces successfully executed a dangerous mission to get ISIS leader al-Baghdadi.

“Killing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is an important achievement in the fight against ISIS. I am grateful to our men and women in uniform, our intelligence professionals, and our allies who contributed to this success. We have robbed ISIS of their founder and leader,” said Congressman Mac Thornberry, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee.

The ISIS leader’s death marks a significant milestone in US’ ongoing campaign to destroy ISIS and their threat to America, said Congressman Michael McCaul, lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

“Baghdadi led one of the most brutal terror organizations in the world, which celebrated public executions, rape, torture and murder,” said Congressman Mike Rogers, ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 2:40:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/great-day-for-america-say-us-leaders-after-baghdadis-death/article29811624.ece

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