During a press conference on Sunday, Trump said al-Baghdadi had been “under surveillance for a couple of weeks”.
In the announcement, Trump thanked Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Russia and the Syrian Kurds for their cooperation.
World reaction to the news has been divided with some leaders hailing it as a turning point in the fight against “terrorism” while some governments played down its down significance.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said al-Baghdadi’s killing “marked a turning point in our joint fight against terrorism.”
The Russian defence ministry reacted to the news with scepticism, saying “it had no reliable information on the US operation.”
“The Russian Ministry of Defense does not have reliable information on the US servicemen conducting in the Turkish-controlled part of the de-escalation zone of Idlib an operation on yet another ‘elimination’ of the former IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” Major-General Igor Konashenkov was quoted by local news agency RIA as saying.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu labelled the event as an “impressive achievement.”
“This reflects our shared determination, of the United States of America and of all free countries, to fight terror organisations and terrorist states,” a statement from his office read.
“This achievement is an important milestone, but the campaign is still ahead of us,” it added.
Iran’s information minister, Mohammed Javad Azari-Jahromi said in a tweet that the killing of al-Baghdadi was “not a big deal. You just killed your creature”. The minister did not elaborate, but Iran has often accused the US of creating ISIL, without providing evidence.
Bahrain Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa praised the move and said it was a “fatal blow to the group.”
French Defence Minister Florence Parly congratulated the US but cautioned that the fight against ISIL will continue.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said this was “an important moment,” but also warned the battle against ISIL “is not yet over.”
Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on Monday the death of Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was an ” important step towards peace and stability” in the Middle East.
Speaking at a news conference in Tokyo, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said the “fight against extremism is not over.”
He reiterated Japan’s commitment to the fight against the spread of extremism around the world.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed the news of al-Baghdadi’s death, describing his killing as “significant” in the fight against extremism.
“We are mindful though that the threat continues and we must remain ever vigilant and we will continue to be so ever vigilant working with our partners around the world,” the prime minister said.
Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
The commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Mazloum Abdi said this achievement was a result of “joint intel cooperation.”