Five senior ISIS officials have been captured, including a top aide to the group’s leader in a major cross-border sting operation carried out by Iraqi and American intelligence. The five were arrested after a three-month operation which tracked a group of senior Islamic State leaders who had been hiding in Syria and Turkey.
The success of the operation is evidence that the relations and intelligence sharing between Baghdad and Washington are fruitful as it led to the arrest of the five who are believed to be on the run.
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.
Ismail Alwaan al-Ithawi, known by alias Abu Zeid al-Iraqi is believed to be Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al- Baghdadi’s top lieutenant and played a very important role in religious and educational affairs of the caliphate.