Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday shortly after he announced that fugitive Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died in a raid by U.S. special forces in northwest Syria, in a major blow to the jihadist group.
Baghdadi killed himself during the raid by detonating a suicide vest, Trump said in a televised address from the White House, adding that test results from the aftermath of the raid had positively identified Baghdadi, he said.
Baghdadi had long been sought by the United States as head of a jihadist group that at one point controlled large areas of Syria and Iraq, where it declared a caliphate. Islamic State has carried out atrocities against religious minorities and attacks on five continents in the name of a version of an ultra-fanatic Islam that horrified mainstream Muslims.
The father of a Jordanian pilot who was killed by Islamic State militants said on Sunday he was "proud and happy" after hearing that the group's leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a U.S. raid.
His son Muath al-Kasaesbeh was burned alive in 2015 which was seen in a grisly death video posted on the internet by the jihadist group. Jordan was part of a U.S. alliance that led a campaign against Islamic State.
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Safi al-Kasaesbeh, Muath's father, said he had dreamed of witnessing the death of Baghdadi to avenge the killing of his son.
The Islamic State or caliphate that Baghdadi declared in July 2014 over a quarter of Iraq and Syria was notable for atrocities against religious minorities and attacks on five continents in the name of a version of an ultra-fanatic Islam that horrified mainstream Muslims.