Iraq says five ISIS commanders captured after crossing from Syria

Iraq says five ISIS commanders captured after crossing from Syria

Past year the Pentagon said that there were "some indicators" that IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was still alive a month after Russian Federation claimed to have killed him in a strike near the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Iraqi and U.S. intelligence spent several weeks interrogating Abu Zeid to acquire information about the location of the other leaders, who were in hiding.

Intelligence officers had tracked them for three months as they made their way through Turkey and Syria, the New York Times reported.

The capture was announced on Iraqi state television on Wednesday, and confirmed by President Trump on Thursday, who tweeted "Five Most Wanted leaders of ISIS just captured!".

Ithawi was arrested on February 15 by Turkish security forces and handed over to Iraq.

Hashimi described Eithawi as a direct aide to Baghdadi, noting that he was responsible for money transfers to Daesh bank accounts in various countries.

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The Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 a year ago.

After being interrogated by American and Iraqi intelligence agents, the ISIS official lured four other leaders of the terror group across the Iraqi border, where they were arrested.

Hashimi said the operation was carried out in cooperation with USA forces, part of an American-led coalition fighting against Islamic State on both sides of the Iraqi-Syrian border.

Hashimi referred to Eithawi and Jamal as "the two most senior Islamic State figures ever to be captured alive".

The coalition between America and Baghdad created to combat terror has been praised after the operation's success. The self-styled caliph is still at large and believed to be hiding in the cross border area between Iraq and Syria.