Skip to main content

World Reactions to Death of ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi

On October 27, President Donald Trump announced that the United States had killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi in a raid in northwestern Syria’s Idlib Province. Trump thanked Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Russia, and the Syrian Kurds for their assistance with the U.S.-led operation. 

World reaction to Baghdadi’s death was divided. Many leaders praised the operation as an important turning point in the fight against terrorism but stressed that the fight against ISIS did not end with Baghdadi. “The death of al Baghdadi is a hard blow against Islamic State, but it is just a stage. With our partners in the international coalition, the fight continues to finally defeat this terrorist organization. This is our priority in the Middle East,” said French President Emmanuel Macron. Baghdadi’s death was “an important moment in our fight against terror but the battle against the evil of Daesh is not yet over,” he tweeted.

But other countries downplayed the significance of Baghdadi’s death or even cast doubt about whether the raid happened. The Russian military questioned the U.S. announcement. Major General Igor Konashenkov said the Russian military “does not have reliable information” on a U.S. military raid in Syria’s Idlib province. “The increasing number of direct participants and countries that allegedly took part in this ‘operation,’ each one giving completely contradictory details, raises legitimate questions and doubts about its existence and especially the level of its success,” Konashenkov said. 

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said Iran’s logistic support ultimately lead to the defeat of ISIS long before the U.S. operation to kill Baghdadi. “It’s not that surprising that the U.S.’s move in killing Baghdadi is receiving so much media hype. Every year close to the U.S. elections, Americans play such cards for domestic consumption,” said Mousavi. The following are world reactions to Baghdadi’s death.  

Major Powers


"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."

“Firstly, on Saturday and in recent days no air strikes were made on the Idlib de-escalation zone by US aircraft or the so-called ‘international coalition’ were recorded. Secondly, we are not aware of any alleged assistance to the passage of American aviation into the airspace of the Idlib de-escalation zone during this operation.” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered a similar reaction.  

—October 27, 2019, in a statement by Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov


“The death of Al-Baghdadi is a hard blow against Islamic State, but it is just a stage. With our partners in the international coalition, the fight continues to finally defeat this terrorist organization. This is our priority in the Middle East.”

—October 27, 2019, in a statement by President Emmanuel Macron

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

—October 27, 2019, in a statement by French Defence Minister Florence Parly



Middle East

Turkey (Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS member)


Saudi Arabia (coalition member)

"The kingdom appreciates the US administration's efforts to pursue members of this terrorist organisation that distorted the real image of Islam ... and committed atrocities and crimes.”

"Saudi Arabia continues its efforts with its allies, especially the United States, in fighting terrorism."

—October 28, 2019, in a foreign ministry statement according to Saudi Press Agency 

Egypt (coalition member)

Egypt's Foreign Ministry spokesman, Ahmed Hafez, said it was an important step in the efforts to combat terrorism. He called for "unified action" and "a comprehensive perspective that takes into account the security, development and ideological dimensions" in the fight against extremist groups. 

—October 28, 2019, in an official statement  


"I would like to congratulate President Trump on the impressive achievement that led to the assassination of the head of (Islamic State) 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.”

—October 27, 2019, in an official statement by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu


*Iranian leaders have often accused the United States of creating and supporting ISIS.

“The killing of Baghdadi will not end Daesh (Islamic State) and its ideology ... which was created and flourished with the help of regional petrodollars.”

—October 27, 2019, in a statement by government spokesman Ali Rabiei

“ISIL was defeated by the youth from the Resistance Front. Iraqi and Syrian nations, with Iran’s logistic support, had defeated this terrorist group long before.”

“It’s not that surprising that the U.S.’s move in killing Baghdadi is receiving so much media hype. Every year close to the U.S. elections, Americans play such cards for domestic consumption.”

“Killing Baghdadi was no big deal, since ISIL had been defeated by us and other countries in the region. We should wait and see what other plans the region’s enemies have in mind for the future.”

—October 28, 2019, in a statement by Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi,

Jordan (coalition member)


Bahrain (coalition member)

"The killing of the criminal Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a severe blow to the ISIL terrorist organisation. We salute our brothers and allies on their efforts and success in finding him and getting rid of him."

—October 27, 2019, in a statement by Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa

Iraq (coalition member)

“Following extensive work by a dedicated team for over a year, Iraq’s National Intelligence Service was able to accurately pinpoint the hideout of the terrorist Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in the Syrian province of Idlib.”

“Subsequently, U.S. forces, in coordination with Iraq’s National Intelligence Service, carried out an operation which led to the elimination of the terrorist Al-Baghdadi.

“Iraq’s Armed Forces and intelligence services will continue to work with Iraq’s partners in the @coalition to relentlessly pursue Daesh (Islamic State) terrorists and to defeat their ideology.”

—October 27, 2019, in an official government statement  

Syrian Democratic Forces

Other Global Coalition Members




The death of Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was an " important step towards peace and stability" in the Middle East. But the "fight against extremism is not over."

—October 27, 2019, in a statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga


“Al-Baghdadi’s death is a significant blow to ISIS and another important step in preventing its revitalisation. It is important to remember his death does not represent the end of the campaign to defeat this terrorist group and the extremism it embodies.”

“Australia will continue to work closely with Coalition partners and the wider international community to counter ISIS, including by stemming their financing, and stopping terrorist groups using the internet as a tool of recruitment and propaganda.”

—October 28, 2019, in an official press release by the Australian government


Related Program

The Islamists

"The Islamists" is a book and website on the origins, evolution, and positions of Islamist movements in the Middle East. The movements are redefining the order and borders in the world’s most volatile region. Yet they have diverse goals and different constituencies. Sometimes they are even rivals.  Read more