President Trump has just announced some YUGE news. The US along with Iraqi and Turkish forces in a pre-planned operation executed multiple raids which led to the capture of the 5 most wanted ISIS leaders.
An Iraqi man, Ismail Alwaan al-Ithawi, aka Abu Zeid al-Iraqi was tracked to the city of Sakarya, about 100 miles east of Istanbul. al Ithawi is the ISIS leader in charge of education, fatwas, or religious rulings, in the Islamic State’s so-called caliphate. Iraq sent his information to Turkey and he was arrested on February 15th and they began to interrogate him, pumping him for information on other ISIS leaders. As a result, they found out when a group of leaders were about to cross the frontier and they were arrested.
The American-led coalition used this information to launch an airstrike in mid-April that killed 39 suspected Islamic State members near Hajin, in the Deir al-Zour district of Syria, the second official said.
The joint Iraqi-American intelligence team then set a trap, according to these officials. They persuaded Mr. Ithawi to contact several of his Islamic State colleagues who had been hiding in Syria and lure them across the border, the officials said.
The Iraqi authorities were waiting, and arrested the group soon after they crossed the frontier, the officials said.
Those arrested included Saddam al-Jammel, a Syrian who had been the head of the Islamic State territory around Deir al-Zour, and Abu Abdel al-Haq, an Iraqi who had been the head of internal security for the group. Two other Iraqis were also arrested, the officials said.
This is a major victory over ISIS and will affect their operations for some time as they decide on the replacements and they will have to pick people much less experienced until they have some time to learn the best way to operate.