Iraq Used Baghdadi Aide's Phone to Capture Islamic State Commanders

Hannah Rogers
May 11, 2018

President Trump publicly announced the capture of at least five "most wanted" ISIS fighters Thursday; delivering another crippling blow to the terror organization just 16 months into his presidency.

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.

The group has been shown on Iraqi TV dressed in yellow prison uniforms.

Hashimi added that Iraqi forces used the Telegram messaging app on Eithawi's mobile phone, and managed to tempt a number of Daesh commanders in Syria to cross the border into Iraq, where they were arrested.

Abadi said Iraqi forces are already deployed at the Sulaimani and Erbil airports, further elaborating on the status of the central government's presence in the Kurdistan Region with "even the Iraqi Intelligence Service [active] in the region".

Officials then got Ithawi to persuade the other ISIS officials to move closer to a trap set up by Iraqi and American forces, where they were arrested.

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Abu Zeid al-Iraqi, one of the main associates of top IS leader Abu Bakr, had been living in Turkey with his Syrian wife under his brother's identity.

It was unclear what standards, if any, Trump was utilizing to explain the ISIS operatives because the "5 most wished".

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has previously vowed to "take all necessary measures" against members based in Syria, with the Iraqi air force carrying out a number of airstrikes in areas believed to contain ISIS members in the country.

"The noose is tightening around him", Hashimi said, referring to Baghdadi.

But the militants still pose a threat along the border with Syria and have continued to carry out ambushes, killings and bombings across Iraq.

US -led coalition to vary mission in Iraq.

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