- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 27, 2019

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Sunday commended the U.S. military and intelligence community for the killing of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

He did not mention President Trump but he blamed him for possibly emboldening the Islamic State or ISIS with the recent pullout of U.S. troops from the Turkey-Syria border.

“I congratulate our special forces, our intelligence community, and all our brave military professionals on delivering justice to the terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” he said in a statement. “It is thanks to their courage and relentless determination to carry out their mission that ISIS has suffered a vital loss.”

Mr. Biden, a top contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, was among the first Democrats to weigh in on the death of Baghdadi, which Mr. Trump announced Sunday morning from the White House.

The Islamic State grew into a major terrorist organization and seized territory the size of Britain following the Obama administrations military pullout from Iraq in 2011.

Mr. Biden noted the significance of removing Baghdadi.

“As the key figure behind the creation of ISIS, Baghdadi‘s corrosive message inspired attacks that claimed thousands of innocent lives around the world—including in the United States,” he said. “The world is better and safer without him in it.”

Mr. Biden warned that the U.S. cannot get distracted from the threat of ISIS, even without Baghdadi at the helm of the terrorist army.

He then blamed Mr. Trump‘s military policy in the region with making America less safe.

“That task is particularly important as the chaos of the past few weeks in northern Syria has jeopardized years of hard work and sacrifice by American and Kurdish troops to evict ISIS from its strongholds in Syria,” he said.

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