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US Allies Glad al-Baghdadi is Dead, but Say IS Still a Threat


People look at a destroyed houses near the village of Barisha, in Idlib province, Syria, Oct. 27, 2019, after an operation by the U.S. military which targeted Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

U.S. allies around the world are calling the killing of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi a major blow, but say IS is still a terrorist threat.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that al-Baghdadi’s death is "just a stage."

"With our partners in the international coalition, the fight continues to defeat this terrorist organization. It is our priority in the Middle East.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said IS must not be allowed to make al-Baghdadi a martyr.

"We must not allow Daesh (Arabic acronym for IS) to glorify someone who actioned such inhumane and abhorrent criminal acts. The UK will continue to support efforts to defeat Daesh."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the IS leader's death is a "turning point in our joint fight against terrorism...I am confident that a decisive struggle against terrorism in line with the spirit of alliance will bring peace to all of humanity."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Trump on what he called al-Baghdadi's "assassination."

"This achievement is an important milestone, but the campaign is still ahead of us."

Iran brushed off al-Baghdadi's killing as "not a big deal" and said the U.S. simply eliminated its own "creature" that it helped create.

At home, Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the "world is a safer place today" and a victory for the United States and its counterterrorism partners," while Republican Mitt Romney put aside his usual criticism of Trump to thank the president, intelligence officers and the "warriors" who carried out the operation.

Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called the IS leader's death "significant," but joined Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in reminding everyone that Islamic State is still out there and cannot be allowed to regroup and threaten the United States.

The Russian Defense Ministry said it has "no reliable information about US servicemen conducting an operation to 'yet another' elimination" of al-Baghdadi.

Russia itself claimed it killed him in 2017 – a claim the Pentagon later proved to be wrong.

Jeff Seldin contributed to this report.