Baghdadi killing important but doesn't end ISIS: Kurdish leaders

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region- The death of Islamic State (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is an important step in the fight against ISIS but is not the end of the terror group, Kurdistan Region officials said on Sunday amid reports that the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) provided vital information that facilitated the US-led operation.

“The Kurdistan Region, as an important and main component of the International Coalition against Daesh, considers the destruction of the head of the terrorist Daesh organization Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi a big step in the fight against terror,” KRI President Nechirvan Barzani said in a Sunday statement, using the Arabic acronym of ISIS, before thanking the US and all those who contributed to the mission.

“Killing Baghdadi, after the destruction of the so-called caliphate of Daesh, is an important step, but this in no way means the end of terror, or the end of Daesh’s ideology or mindset,” Barzani added.

In the early hours of Sunday, a US-led operation on a compound reportedly sheltering the ISIS leader in Barisha village, in northwest Syrian province of Idlib ended with Baghdadi committing suicide.

While US President Donald Trump hailed Russia, Syria, Turkey, and Iraq, and to a lesser degree Kurds, reports indicate that the Kurdistan Region and Syrian Kurds provided more intelligence than any other actors that contributed to the death of the ISIS leader.

At the height of ISIS’ expansion and control of territory in 2014, the KRI fought ISIS along a frontline extending 1,000 kilometers. More than 1,000 dead Peshmerga fighters died, with thousands more injured.
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