NATO: ISIS Leader’s Death a ‘Milestone’ in Fight

By The Associated Press

BERLIN—NATO’s secretary-general says the death of ISIS terrorist group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is a “milestone” in the fight against the terrorist group but is cautioning that the struggle is far from over.

NATO’s Jens Stoltenberg told Germany’s Bild newspaper on Sunday that ISIS once controlled a vast area in Syria and Iraq. The international anti-ISIS coalition, of which NATO is a part, needs to “ensure that it doesn’t return.”

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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg speaks to media during a press conference at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand, on Aug. 6, 2019. (Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

Stoltenberg says, “the Islamic State doesn’t have any territory anymore, but it still lives. IS[IS] maintains sleeper cells, secret networks, and is working to come back. Our mission is not yet entirely fulfilled.”

Al-Baghdadi was killed last week in a U.S. raid in Syria. The group has named Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi Al-Qurayshi as its new leader.

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A man purported to be the reclusive leader of the ISIS terrorist group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has made what would be his first public appearance at a mosque in the centre of Iraq’s second city, Mosul, according to a video recording posted on the Internet on July 5, 2014, in this still image taken from video. (Social Media Website via Reuters-TV/File Photo)