WASHINGTON, D.C. – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a raid by U.S. special operations forces: 

“The success of the al-Baghdadi raid is a testament to the valor and skill of our military personnel and intelligence professionals, whose unique service to our nation is of the utmost importance. We are grateful for their bravery and patriotism.

“While the death of al-Baghdadi is consequential, we must not mistake the demise of one ISIS leader for complete and finite victory. As has been reported, many ISIS fighters remain in tenuous circumstances in the prisons of Northeastern Syria. ISIS fighters in those prisons and around the world will not rest because of his death.

“The United States must remain vigilant in our fight against terrorism. As I have said, success in the region is only possible by, with, and through partners and allies. The threat posed by ISIS requires strategic and thoughtful leadership, and it is imperative that the Administration clearly articulate a strategy to defeat ISIS with our partners and allies.

“The Administration and Department officials must have open and continuous dialogue with congressional officials so we can fully understand the next steps and the long-term strategy for the region.”