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Kremlin Offers Guarded Praise on Baghdadi Killing

Kremlin Offers Guarded Praise on Baghdadi Killing

Tuesday, 29 October, 2019 - 08:30
A bearded man with ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's appearance speaks in this screen grab taken from video released on April 29, 2019. via REUTERS/File Photo

Russian reactions to the US announcement on killing ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi were varied. Moscow questioned details provided by Washington but acknowledged that Russian monitors had picked up the movement of the US aircraft regiment which is said to have carried out the fatal attack in Idlib, Syria.

The Kremlin said on Monday that US President Donald Trump will have made a major contribution to the fight against international terrorism if a US assertion that ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead is true.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to say on Monday if the US had informed Russia about the operation in advance or provide other details.

But he told reporters that the Russian military had spotted US planes and drones in the area of Syria where Washington said it had carried out the raid.

“If this information (about Baghdadi's death) is confirmed we can talk about a serious contribution by the president of the United States to the fight against international terrorism,” said Peskov.

On the other hand, Russia's Ministry of Defense cast doubt on Trump's assertion, saying in a statement it did not have any reliable information about the US operation.

The announcement contradicted the Pentagon's assertion that it had informed the Russian side of the move, as well as Trump's praise for a Russian role in the success of the process.

Trump had announced that Washington had informed Russia of the operation in advance, but without elaborating on its purpose, saying that disclosing details would have jeopardized the lives of US military personnel.

“We are unaware of any alleged assistance to the flying of US aviation into the airspace of the Idlib de-escalation zone during this operation,” Major-General Igor Konashenkov was quoted by RIA as saying.

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