Source:Global Times-US President Donald Trump answers reporter’s questions after making a statement at the White House in Washington, DC on the death of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during a US military raid in Syria, on Sunday. Photo: IC
US President Donald Trump announced Sunday that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State (IS), was killed in a raid by US special operation forces in Northwest Syria on Saturday night. According to US media reports, Trump watched the mission at the White House Situation Room, accompanied by several high-level military and security officials.
Baghdadi was the most wanted criminal in the world. His death is widely considered a “diplomatic victory” for Trump, which will help him respond to criticism over a US troop withdrawal from Syria and acquiescence of Turkey to attack Kurds.
Some people are still questioning the veracity of US reports. As Baghdadi had been declared death and then “revived” umpteen times, even Trump’s announcement can hardly dispel all doubts.
Let’s believe Trump’s declaration for the time being. In 2011, US special operation forces killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in a similar scenario. With reliable information, the US military was surely able to kill Baghdadi by more accurate means. Livestreaming is also pretty easy nowadays. But this successful raid can only be achieved on the basis of multiple efforts to crack down on IS by all relevant parties. The US cannot claim sole credit for it.
Russia, Syrian Armed Forces, and Syrian Kurdish forces are all significant players in fighting IS in Syria. Trump thanked the governments of Russia, Iraq, Syria and Turkey, and the Syrian Kurdish forces for their assistance. It is hoped that the outcome can also be shared by all parties, instead of serving only US national security interests and the upcoming US elections.
The war on terror has been going on for years. The US has claimed many of its achievements. Other parties either get nothing or suffer extra losses. Since 2001, when the war on terror started, US soil has never been attacked by external terrorist forces. Its national security has been enhanced. But what about other countries and regions?
Because the US is too far away, terrorists in the Middle East have made Europe its main target. Extremists in Europe are also more active in taking concerted action and interacting with Middle Eastern terror organizations. Since 2001, Europe has been the major destination of waves of refugees fleeing the Middle East. The war on terror has made the US safer, but Europe more complicated.
The Middle East has suffered the most. The region is much more chaotic than it was before 2001. Although there were some “authoritarian regimes” in the region at that time, most countries were relatively wealthy. Terrorist attacks were sporadic, targeted at Westerners or Israelis, which were easy to prevent.
The region has been fraught with wars and turbulence, of which terrorism is only a small part. Terrorist means have been used in daily strife. Years of chaos have led to countless deaths. A vacuum caused by the toppling of the Saddam regime and the strike against Syrian Bashar al-Assad regime has given birth to the IS. It’s fair to say the terrorist group is a result of the US war on terror and the Syrian civil war.
The war on terror is victorious from the US perspective. But Washington, after winning the war, failed to use its strength to consolidate world peace and promote global development. Instead, it is busy causing new confrontations in the Middle East and around the world, bringing new tensions. Washington has added fuel to sectarian conflicts in the Middle East. Turkey used to be a stabilizing force in the region, but with the situation in the Middle East becoming increasingly complicated, it has grown into a new regional vortex of geopolitics.
The US has attached more importance to major power competition, which has posed fundamental threats to world peace. Washington has scarified too many resources which can otherwise be used to support the sharing of order by humanity for its own benefit. At a time when the US is celebrating the removal of Baghdadi, we have to tell Washington: Let the world share this achievement and don’t sacrifice the common interests of mankind as you have done to Kurds.