Georgia officials praised news of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death Sunday after President Donald Trump announced the Islamic State leader perished during a U.S. Special Operations forces raid.
U.S. Sen. David Perdue said al-Baghdadi’s demise is proof the president is making the right decisions regarding Syria.
“President Trump’s strategy in Syria sends a message to terrorists: You can run but you cannot hide,” the Trump ally and Senate Armed Services Committee member wrote on Twitter. “Al-Baghdadi proves that. Hats off to our special operations forces, intelligence officers, and all those involved in this mission. It’s a great day for America.”
Over the last several weeks, Perdue and other local Republicans have been under intense scrutiny as they decided whether to support Trump’s divisive plan to withdraw U.S. troops from the war-torn nation.
One of Perdue’s Democratic challengers, Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry, said Perdue’s statement was “naive.”
“ISIS is a decentralized network. Abu Hassan al-Muhajir is still alive,” Terry wrote on the social media site, referring to the Islamic State’s spokesman. “We ‘win’ the war on terror not by killing terrorist leaders. But by building common cause with the persecuted peoples of the world.”
During a speech Sunday morning, Trump described al-Baghdadi as the world’s “No. 1 terrorist leader.” Various media outlets, cited unnamed senior Pentagon officials, reported that al-Baghdadi and his wife died after setting off explosive vests during the military operation.
U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson described the American troops who carried out the raid as heroic. He said the operation was an important step toward weeding out extremism.
“While the threat posed by ISIS and other transnational terrorist organizations in the Middle East continues to persist, we must remain committed to sustained American leadership, in conjunction with our allies and partners, in the fight against terrorism in this very unstable region of the world,” Isakson said.
U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler, said “the United States has again shown that we will never slow down in our resolve to eliminate terrorism once and for all.”
Congresswoman Lucy McBath, D-Marietta, thanked U.S. special forces and intelligence officials for their “courage and your commitment to protecting innocent lives,” as did Democrat Jon Ossoff, a former Capitol Hill foreign policy aide challenging Perdue.
“ISIS is guilty of mass murder, rape, torture, and slavery. ISIS must be relentlessly destroyed,” said Ossoff, an ex-congressional candidate whose media company has produced documentaries about the Islamic State.
Social media reactions from Georgia elected officials:
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