Putin says Islamic State has seized 700 hostages in Syria

admin   •   October 19, 2018   •   3028

Vladimir Putin speaks about the situation in Syria, says 700 people are taken hostage | REUTERS

President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that Islamic State militants had seized nearly 700 hostages in part of Syria controlled by U.S.-backed forces and issued an ultimatum promising to execute 10 people every day.

Speaking in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Putin said the hostages included several U.S. and European nationals, adding that Islamic State was expanding its control in territory controlled by the U.S. and U.S.-backed forces.

Putin did not specify what the militants’ demands were. — Reuters

US Military: No footage on Baghdadi’s death will be released

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2019

US President Donald J. Trump answers a reporter’s question as he participates in a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, on 07 October 2019. At right is United States Army General Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. EPA-EFE/Ron Sachs

Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s remains had been disposed of and there were no plans to share footage on his death, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley announced on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that al-Baghdadi had been killed in a U.S. military operation in Syria.

Trump said earlier that part of the footage on the operation would be released, but military sources said that the footage might expose some confidential information about the U.S. military, adding that the footage should go through strict checks before it is published.

The Associated Press on Monday released footage taken by a witness when the U.S. military launched a raid in northwestern Syria — but the authenticity of the footage has not been verified.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday expressed “prudent welcome” to Baghdadi’s death, saying the U.S. has made a big contribution to fighting terrorism “if confirmed”.

The Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday that it does not have reliable information about the U.S. operation in the Idlib de-escalation zone in Syria that allegedly killed IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Monday stressed that the extremist ideology and the support for it still exist in the Middle East, and the death of Baghdadi was a “creature” killed by the U.S.

On the same day, Iranian government Spokesman Ali Rabiee said al-Baghdadi’s death is the end of a symbol of “destructive terrorism,” and the U.S. should end its interventions in the Middle East. (Reuters)

Death of Al-Baghdadi, not the end of ISIS — Malacañang

Marje Pelayo   •   October 28, 2019

People walk amound the rubble of destroyed buildings at the site that was hit by helicopter gunfire which reportedly killed nine people, including Abu Baker al-Baghdadi, the leader of IS or so-called Islamic State, near the village of Barisha, Idlib province, Syria, 27 October 2019 (issued 28 October 2019). EPA-EFE/YAHYA NEMAH

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang expressed relief in the recent demise of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in Syria.

The Palace, however, acknowledged that such report couldn’t do much to resolve global terrorism involving the militant group ISIS.

“The death of a leader does not mean the extinction of that group,” noted Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

“Then again, it may also cause discouragement the on the part of the terrorist group. But as far as we are concerned, whether the leader dies or not, we will secure that part of our country from them,” he added.

Al-Baghdadi was reportedly killed in an operation initiated by the United States Special Forces in Syria.

No less than U.S President Donald Trump broke the news on Sunday (October 27) saying Al-Baghdadi detonated his suicide vest when US troops cornered him in a dead-end tunnel in Northwest Syria, in defiance to his impending arrest.

“Last night the United States brought the world’s number one terrorist leader to justice. Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is dead,” Trump said in a televised speech.

“He reached the end of the tunnel as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest killing himself and the three children. His body was mutilated by the blast, the tunnel had caved in on it,” Trump added.

The terrorist leader’s identity was confirmed through a DNA test from the human specimen recovered in the blast site.

“The United States has been searching for Baghdadi for many years,” Trump continued.

“Capturing or killing Baghdadi has been the top national security priority of my administration. U.S special operations forces executed a dangerous and daring night-time raid in north-western Syria and accomplished their mission in grand style,” he added.

Trump expressed gratitude to the governments of Turkey, Russia, Syria and Iraq for their support to the success of the operation.

It was in 2010 when Al-Baghdadi started to lead the Islamic State carrying US$25M bounty on his head. — MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)

PH military vows to continue anti-terror efforts after death of ISIS leader Baghdadi

Robie de Guzman   •   October 28, 2019

An undated file image taken from a video released by the militant group calling itself Islamic State (IS), purportedly showing the caliph of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, giving a speech in an unknown location (reissued 27 October 2019). According to media reports on 26 October 2019 citing US officials, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a US Special Forces raid in Idlib province, Syria. EPA-EFE/ISLAMIC STATE VIDEO

MANILA, Philippines – The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday said government troops would remain alert and will continue its efforts to counter terrorists who threaten the country following the reported death of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In a statement, AFP spokesman Marine Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said, the death of Baghdadi dealt a severe blow on terrorist organizations across the globe.

“We expect that his death will impact negatively on the leadership of terrorists in various parts of the world,” Arevalo said.

“The AFP will continue with our vigorous efforts to prevent or counter terrorist extremists who continue to threaten our country,” he added. “Our troops in the frontlines remain on high alert to thwart possible attempts to ride on this development.”

The military issued the statement after United States President Donald Trump announced that Baghdadi killed himself by detonating a suicide vest during a raid launched by US troops on Saturday. Baghdadi led the jihadist group in controlling and declaring a caliphate in large areas of Syria and Iraq at one point.

Arevalo also vowed to continue blocking the Daesh-inspired groups from recruiting new members and exploiting the situation in the countryside, calling their attempt towards resurgence as “futile.”

“We will build from our triumph in Marawi in frustrating ISIS move to establish a caliphate in our country,” he said.

The military also urged the public anew to stay alert and be actively involved in reporting to authorities any suspicious persons or activities in their localities.

“Vigilance will surely help security forces in our campaign to deny the ISIS foothold in our country,” Arevalo said.

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