World reacts to Daesh leader Al-Baghdadi’s death

Syrians walk past a damaged van at the site of helicopter gunfire which reportedly killed nine people near the north-western Syrian village of Barisha in Idlib province. (AFP)
Updated 28 October 2019

World reacts to Daesh leader Al-Baghdadi’s death

  • France congratulates US on the operation
  • UK warns that fight against Daesh is not over

President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that fugitive Daesh leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi had died in a raid by US special forces in northwest Syria, in a major blow to the jihadist group.
Al-Baghdadi killed himself during the raid by detonating a suicide vest, Trump said in a televised address from the White House.
Here are reactions to the announcement:

BAHRAIN

Bahrain foreign minister on Twitter:

"The killing of the criminal Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi is a fatal blow to Daesh. We salute our brothers and allies for their efforts and success in finding him and getting rid of him. 


FRANCE
French Defense Minister Florence Parly on Twitter:
“Baghdadi: early retirement for a terrorist, but not for his organization. I congratulate our American allies with this operation. My thoughts thoughts today are for all the victims of the madness of Bagdhadi and the criminals who have followed him.”

BRITAIN
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Twitter:
“The death of Baghdadi is an important moment in our fight against terror but the battle against the evil of Daesh is not yet over. We will work with our coalition partners to bring an end to the murderous, barbaric activities of Daesh once and for all.”

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, on Twitter:
“Following the death of Daesh’s leader, we must not allow Daesh to glorify someone who actioned such inhumane & abhorrent criminal acts. The UK will continue to support efforts to #DefeatDaesh.”

ISRAEL
Statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
“I would like to congratulate President Trump on the impressive achievement that led to the assassination of the head of (Daesh) Al-Baghdadi. This reflects our shared determination, of the United States of America and of all free countries, to fight terror organizations and terrorist states. This achievement is an important milestone, but the campaign is still ahead of us.”

TURKEY
Senior aide to President Tayyip Erdogan, Fahrettin Altun, in statement to Reuters:
“Turkey was proud to help the United States, our NATO ally, bring a notorious terrorist to justice ... We remember today Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi’s civilian victims and our military heroes, who lost their lives to protect the world from Daesh terrorists.
“Turkey, which has been a bulwark against terrorism, will continue to work closely with the United States and others to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. It is time to join forces and defeat all terrorist groups operating in the region without further delay.”


Sea-Eye ship with 125 rescued migrants docks in Sardinia

Updated 25 September 2020

Sea-Eye ship with 125 rescued migrants docks in Sardinia

  • NGO Sea-Eye says the vessel Alan Kurdi docked at the port of Arbatax on the east of the island

ROME: A ship with 125 rescued migrants aboard reached the Italian island of Sardinia on Thursday, the aid organization Sea-Eye said, adding that the fate of its survivors remains unclear.

The Alan Kurdi docked at the port of Arbatax on the east of the island, having been “instructed by the port authorities to drop anchor and wait for further instructions,” said Sea-Eye, which charters the boat.

However, the NGO said it was unclear whether Arbatax would be a “safe port,” in which the rescued survivors would be able to disembark.

On Wednesday night, Italian authorities had made contact to discuss the “further coordination” and to provide weather protection for the ship, five days since Sea-Eye asked for assistance, it said on Twitter.

Italy’s Interior Ministry said earlier in the day that it had “authorized the request” to dock and “activated the procedure to redistribute” the 125 rescued migrants across Europe.

“Eighty percent of the rescued migrants will be transferred to other European countries,” it added.

The ship — named Alan Kurdi after the Syrian boy who made global headlines when his drowned body washed up on a beach in Turkey in 2015 — rescued 133 people, including 62 children, from three different boats off the Libyan coast.

Eight people, including a five-month-old baby, were evacuated by the Italian coast guard. More than 50 minors are still on board, including young children, the NGO said.

The ship was initially heading to Marseille in the south of France before French authorities successfully asked Italy to allow it to dock in the Mediterranean, Sea-Eye’s chief Gorden Isler said in a tweet.

“We hope that the 125 rescued will be allowed to disembark in Sardinia so they can be adequately cared for there,” Isler added.

French government spokesman Gabriel Attal said on Wednesday that the Sea-Eye ship should “be received in the nearest safe port,” with France implicitly declining any possibility of allowing the ship to dock in Marseille.

The principle of the landing of survivors in the nearest “safe port,” enshrined in international maritime law, generally means Italy or Malta are expected to take in rescued survivors from Mediterranean crossings.

More than 600 migrants have perished this year while attempting the Mediterranean crossing, the deadliest route for those hoping for a better life in Europe.

Almost 50,000 have made the journey so far this year, according to the International Organization for Migration.