‘A significant step’: Parents of slain journalist Steven Sotloff react to death of IS leader

PINECREST, FLA. (WSVN) - The family of a South Florida journalist who was executed by the Islamic State said the death of its leader during a targeted raid in Syria was “a significant step” in the fight against the militant group.

Miami-Dade native Steven Sotloff was a freelance journalist in 2013 when he was captured by ISIS. On Sept. 2, 2014, the group released a video showing his beheading.

Arthur and Shirley Sotloff, the journalist’s parents, stood outside of their Pinecrest home, Sunday evening, to speak out on Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the man who ordered their son’s death and address what Saturday morning’s targeted raid by U.S. special operators means for them.

“The Sotloff family is thankful to President Trump, our brave U.S. special forces and all involved intelligence allies for pinpointing and eliminating ISIS leader al-Baghdadi without suffering any U.S. military casualties,” said Shirley Sotloff as she read a statement.

The Sotloffs said they regard the IS leader’s death as a praiseworthy development in the efforts to eliminate the group’s stronghold across parts of the Middle East.

“While the victory will not bring our beloved son Steven back to us, it is a significant step in the campaign against ISIS,” said Shirley Sotloff. “It is our hope that our son’s surviving captors, nicknamed ‘The Beatles,’ will be brought to justice, that all remaining hostages are returned to safety and the United States will continue to take every measure to eliminate the resurgence of ISIS and terror in all forms.”

Shortly after the Sotloffs addressed reporters, they said they received a phone call from President Donald Trump. The FBI has also reached out to them.

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