Five ‘Most wanted’ ISIS commanders have been captured, including a top aide to Abu Bakr al-baghdadi the group’s leader. The militants were hunted down in a complex cross-border sting carried out by Iraqi and American intelligence.
The five include four Iraqis and one Syrian whose responsibilities included governing ISIS’ territory around Deir el-Zour, Syria, directing internal security and running the administrative body that oversees religious rulings.
The three-month operation, which tracked a group of senior ISIS leaders who had been hiding in Syria and Turkey, represents a significant intelligence victory for the US-led coalition fighting the extremist.
An Iraqi intelligence unit responsible for undercover missions had tracked Ismail Alwaan al-Ithawi, an Iraqi known by the ‘nom de guerre’ Abu Zeid al-Iraqi, from Syria to the Turkish city of Sakarya, about 160km east of Istanbul.
Ithawi, described by the Iraqis as a top aide to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had been living in Turkey according to officials