“The arrest is a significant blow to Daesh.”
Two Iraqi officials announced that an operation between U.S. and Iraqi forces led to the capture of five top ISIS members. From The New York Times:
The three-month operation, which tracked a group of senior Islamic State leaders who had been hiding in Syria and Turkey, represents a significant intelligence victory for the American-led coalition fighting the extremist group and underscores the strengthening relationship between Washington and Baghdad.
Two Iraqi intelligence officials said those captured included four Iraqis and one Syrian whose responsibilities included governing the Islamic State’s territory around Deir al-Zour, Syria, directing internal security and running the administrative body that oversees religious rulings.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) May 10, 2018
Rudaw reported that officials identified one man “as Saddam Omar Hussein, who was reported dead in 2016.” The Central Investigative Court interrogated Hussein, who “admitted to ‘a lot of divisions and break-ups inside the organization.'” The others are “Saddam Jamal, a Syrian and ISIS governor of the eastern Euphrates region, and field commanders Syrian Mohamed al-Qadeer, Iraqi Omar al-Karbouli, and Iraqi Essam al-Zawbai.”
According to the coalition, the operation was done in coordination between Iraqi forces and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) across the border.
“The arrest is a significant blow to Daesh,” coalition spokesperson Col. Ryan Dillon tweeted on Wednesday, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.
He said it “demonstrates close coordination” between the Iraqi security forces and the SDF across the border.
Brett McGurk, US special presidential envoy to the anti-ISIS coalition, also hailed the “great cooperation” between the two forces.
Turkish authorities captured Ismail al-Eithawi, a top aide to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and handled international money orders for the group, in February and gave him to Iraqi’s security advisor to the government Hisham al-Hashimi.
The Iraqi officials used the Telegram messaging app on al-Eithawi’s to convince the other four commanders to leave Syria and enter Iraq.
SDF & the coalition launched a campaign to eliminate the rest of ISIS “in two remaining pockets in eastern Deir ez-Zor province, east of the Euphrates.” A campaign on Wednesday killed 16 ISIS militants “in the Hajin area, on the banks of the Euphrates.”
President Donald Trump celebrated the news on Twitter.
Five Most Wanted leaders of ISIS just captured!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2018
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