Local

Trump: Five Most Wanted ISIS Leaders Captured

Iraqi forces in coordination with U.S.-backed Syrian forces have captured five senior Islamic State group leaders, the U.S.-led coalition said Thursday in a statement.

The arrest was a “significant blow to Daesh,” coalition spokesman Army Col. Ryan Dillon said, using the Arabic acronym for the extremist group.

ISIS fighters no longer control significant pockets of territory inside Iraq, but do maintain a grip inside Syria along Iraq’s border.

The U.S. -led coalition supported Iraqi ground forces and Syrian fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces in the more than three-year war against IS.

After Iraqi forces retook the Iraqi city of Mosul from IS last summer, Syrian forces on the other side of the border claimed a series of swift victories, but the campaign was stalled recently when Turkey launched a cross-border raid into Syria’s north.

Earlier this month the coalition announced a drive to clear the final pockets of IS territory inside Syria.

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted about the anti-IS raid Thursday, saying those arrested were the “five most wanted” IS “leaders.”

It was unclear what criteria, if any, Trump was using to describe the IS operatives as the “five most wanted.”

A U.S. national security official said there were no indications that the operation had captured Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of IS who has long been the coalition’s top target. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss the targets publicly and requested anonymity.

Last year the Pentagon said that there were “some indicators” that al-Baghdadi was still alive a month after Russia claimed to have killed him in a strike near the Syrian city of Raqqa.

None of the statements released Thursday from the president or the coalition named the IS fighters arrested.

IS fighters swept into Iraq in the summer of 2014, taking control of nearly a third of the country. At the height of the group’s power their self-proclaimed caliphate stretched from the edges of Aleppo in Syria to just north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Now, with the group’s physical caliphate largely destroyed, anti-IS operations are increasingly focused on targeting the extremists’ remaining leadership.

(AP)

Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Local

More in Local

d4de519e0f74cd183f5241a576de37bb.jpg

Democrats Promise to Revive The Russia Probe If They Win The House

adminOctober 22, 2018
b94a75efd845fa42a81d7426cfb572c9.jpg

ARRESTED AGAIN: Pizza Deliveryman Arrested By ICE At Brooklyn Military Base Jailed on Domestic Violence Charges

adminOctober 22, 2018
9295a5b0e4e835d10a34bb6203d643fe.jpg

SHIKSA?! UN Ambassador Nikki Haley Pokes Fun at Herself at NY Charity Event

adminOctober 22, 2018
8efc733738742a2a6afd4c4915afa913.jpg

NEW TOOL: Credit Card Limitations For Get Refusers In Israel

adminOctober 22, 2018
39dacafd4f9446e07b6b9c1080bc25da.jpg

SHE CAN STAY: Israel’s Supreme Court Overturns Deportation of American BDS Activist Lara Alqasem

adminOctober 19, 2018
e9c580e4876a2d0e8bd5dfacc570fe2c.jpg

U.S. Navy Helicopter Crashes On USS Ronald Reagan In Asia, Sailors Hurt

adminOctober 19, 2018
40d09691d037c70f0175319962c4fd29.jpg

Trump Organization Sues Man Who Died In Trump Tower Fire

adminOctober 19, 2018
01f7e6c814135f9890e7ba67550f5c56.jpg

Twitter Releases Archive of 10 million Tweets From State-Backed Troll Accounts

adminOctober 18, 2018
4de607e38cb91049f817c5fea9d76ce2.jpg

Trump Asks Cabinet To Cut Next Year’s Budgets By 5 Percent

adminOctober 18, 2018