LONDON (Reuters) - It would have been the right thing to do to capture Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi alive if it had been possible, the leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said on Wednesday.
Baghdadi died alongside three of his children by detonating an explosive-laden vest when he fled U.S. forces during an attack in northwest Syria, U.S. President Donald Trump said.
Corbyn, a long-time critic of U.S. foreign policy who hopes to succeed Boris Johnson as Britain’s prime minister after an election on Dec. 12, said people like Baghdadi needed to be put on trial at the International Court of Justice in the Hague.
“Him being removed from the scene is a very good thing,” Corbyn told British radio station LBC.
“If it would have been possible to arrest him – and I don’t know the details of the circumstances at the time, I’ve only seen various statements put out by the U.S. about it - surely it would have been the right thing to do.”
Corbyn told Iran’s state-backed Press TV in 2011, before he was Labour leader, that the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of the United States was a “tragedy”, as there had been no attempt to arrest him and put him on trial.
Corbyn has faced regular criticism from political opponents for meeting members of Irish and Palestinian militant groups over the decades, and previously called members of Hamas and Hezbollah “friends”.
Reporting by David Milliken; editing by Stephen Addison