Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman congratulates Trump over the killing of ISIS leader al-Baghdadi and calls the operation ‘a historic step in the fight against extremism’
- Saudi Arabia’s crown prince phoned Donald Trump to hail the ISIS leader’s death
- Trump praised his country’s ‘continuous and fruitful co-operation’ with Riyadh
- The kingdom had earlier welcomed the death of Baghdadi who ‘distorted Islam’
Calling it a ‘historic step in the fight against extremism’, the prince hailed Baghdadi’s death as the start of a ‘new era’, according to state media.
The call marks Prince Mohammed’s first public comments on the special forces raid which cornered Baghdadi on Saturday night.
Trump responded by praising the ‘continuous and fruitful co-operation’ between Riyadh and Washington in ‘combatting terrorism and drying up its sources’.
Saudi Arabia ‘s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (pictured) has phoned Donald Trump to congratulate him over the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
A Saudi foreign ministry source had yesterday hailed Baghdadi’s death and said the terrorist leader had ‘distorted the real image of Islam’.
‘Saudi Arabia continues its efforts with its allies, especially the United States, in fighting terrorism,’ the source added.
Baghdadi had called for attacks against Saudi Arabia when the kingdom joined the U.S.-led coalition against his terrorist group.
He also used derogatory terms to refer to the Saudi royal family in his propaganda speeches.
ISIS militants have carried out deadly bombings and shootings in Saudi Arabia since the authorities crushed an al-Qaeda insurgency more than a decade ago.
Turkey also offered its praise for the mission yesterday and boasted of its ‘co-ordination’ with U.S. special forces.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Baghdadi’s death a ‘turning point in our joint fight against terrorism’.
‘Our military and intelligence units were in contact with their American counterparts on this issue and they coordinated,’ a spokesman said.
‘Especially…the night when the operation was conducted, we can say there was intense diplomacy between our military authorities.
‘A terrorist organization nesting in Syria, near our border, or any other region, is not something we can accept.’
Russia offered more guarded praise, maintaining that Baghdadi’s death had not yet been confirmed.
Gratitude: President Donald Trump during his statement at the White House yesterday, during which he thanked Russia for unspecified help in the Baghdadi raid
Hours after Trump announced the success of the mission, Russia’s defence ministry referred sarcastically to Baghdadi’s ‘umpteenth’ death after numerous false rumours over the years.
Vladimir Putin‘s spokesman said yesterday that Trump would have made a ‘serious contribution’ to fighting ISIS if Baghdadi is indeed dead.
‘If this information is confirmed we can talk about a serious contribution by the President of the United States to the fight against international terrorism,’ he said.
The Russian military had spotted American planes and drones in Syria on Saturday night, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.
But he declined to say whether Russia knew what was happening or had offered any assistance.
Trump had voiced his thanks to Russia during his White House statement on Sunday morning.
‘This raid was impeccable, and could only have taken place with the acknowledgement and help of certain other nations and people,’ Trump said.
‘I want to thank the nations of Russia, Turkey, Syria, and Iraq,’ he said without further explanation.