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Erdogan Calls Killing of Baghdadi 'Turning Point' in Joint Counterterrorist Fight

© REUTERS / MUSTAFA KAMACI/PRESIDENTIAL PRESTurkish President Tayyip Erdogan salutes during a gathering in Kayseri, Turkey, October 19, 2019.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan salutes during a gathering in Kayseri, Turkey, October 19, 2019.  - Sputnik International
ANKARA (Sputnik) - The elimination of Abu Bakr Baghdadi, the leader of the Daesh* terrorist organization, by the US air force 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.
"The killing of Daesh’s [IS] 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 organizations, 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 posted on Twitter.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg echoed Erdogan, saying that the death of Baghdadi was an important step in fighting the 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 wrote on his Twitter page.

The German Foreign Ministry, in turn, pointed out the need to continue the fight against IS.

"Important step in the fight against IS, which has to be continued in full force. Today, our thoughts are also with the countless innocent victims of #Baghdadi's terror. @coalition," the ministry wrote on its Twitter page.

Earlier in the day, US President Donald Trump announced having hunted down Baghdadi in Syria's Idlib and thanked Russia, Iraq, Syria and Turkey for their assistance in the course of the operation. Russia, in particular, "treated [the US military] great" and opened the Syrian airspace under its control for the US fleet of helicopters to access Baghdadi, the US president claimed. The Russian Defence Ministry said that it had possessed no reliable data about the US operation and had reasons to question the realness of it.

The terrorist number one made his first media appearance in 2014 when the ISIS officially re-branded itself into the IS and declared itself a caliphate under Baghdadi's leadership. Since then, he has made headlines multiple times with claims that he had been killed.

*Daesh, also known as ISIS or ISIL, is a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia.

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