Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 November 2019

Turkey captures Al Baghdadi's wife, President Erdogan says

It comes a day after he claimed to have detained the dead ISIS leader's sister

People look at destroyed houses near the village of Barisha, in Idlib province, Syria, after an operation by the US military which targeted Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, the shadowy leader of ISIS. AP
People look at destroyed houses near the village of Barisha, in Idlib province, Syria, after an operation by the US military which targeted Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, the shadowy leader of ISIS. AP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey has captured a wife of deceased ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, who killed himself after being found in a US operation last month.

Mr Erdogan made the announcement while delivering a speech in the capital Ankara on Wednesday, but gave no other details and did not identify her by name.

Al Baghdadi was known to have four wives.

“We caught his wife but we didn’t make a fuss about it. I am announcing this today for the first time,” Mr Erdogan said, apparently in reference to US President Donald Trump's announcement of Al Baghdadi's death.

Al Baghdadi was found in Idlib province, 5 kilometres from the Turkish border.

On Tuesday, Turkish authorities said they captured his elder sister, Rasmiya Awad, 65, in the northern Syrian town of Azaz.

Meanwhile, The National has revealed a brother of the ISIS leader travelled several times to Istanbul, Europe’s largest city, from northern Syria in the months before the terror chief's death.

He acted as a messenger to deliver and retrieve information about the group’s operations in Syria, Iraq and Turkey, two Iraqi intelligence officials said.

That left questions about Turkey's ignorance or inaction about the militants' whereabouts.

Since the operation to catch Al Baghdadi, Turkish media have reported several raids to catch ISIS members in the country.

Updated: November 7, 2019 12:56 AM

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