Australia while welcoming the confirmation the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria has said that his death does not represent the end of the campaign to defeat terrorist group and the extremism it embodies.
Al-Baghdadi died in a US-led raid on his hideout in northwest Syria on 26 October.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Linda Reynolds in a joint statement on Monday said that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was responsible for ordering ethnic cleansing, sexual slavery, and other crimes against humanity.
He led a murderous, terrorist group responsible for widespread misery and destruction across large parts of Iraq and Syria.
“Al-Baghdadi’s death is a significant blow to ISIS and another important step in preventing its revitalization as he inspired or directed cowardly attacks by ISIS followers against innocent civilians around the world, some of whom were Australian”, joint statement read.
They reiterated Australia’s commitment to playing part in the evolving counter-terrorism fight.
“Keeping Australians safe from terrorist attacks remains a foremost priority for the Government”, joint statement said paying tributes to Australian and Coalition military forces who, for many years, have helped in the efforts to defeat ISIS.
Joint statement also praises the courage and sacrifice of Iraqi Security Forces in the liberation of their land from the ruthless occupation of ISIS and the Syrian Democratic Forces, who have been steadfast and courageous security partners in the counter-ISIS coalition.
Prime Minister along with Foreign and Defence ministers assures that Australia will continue to work closely with Coalition partners and the wider international community to counter ISIS, including by stemming their financing, and stopping terrorist groups using the internet as a tool of recruitment and propaganda.