Islamic State Leader Baghdadi’s Top Aide Among Five Key Jihadis Captured

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A top aide to Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is among five senior members of the jihadi group captured in a sting operation by Iraqi authorities backed by the U.S. and Turkey.

“The noose is tightening around” ISIS leader Baghdadi, Iraqi security adviser Hisham al-Hashimi told Reuters on Thursday, a day after Iraqi authorities announced the arrests.

Alluding to Baghdadi’s captured aide, Hashimi indicated to the Washington Post: “One of the men, Ismail al-Ithawi, who goes by the alias Abu Zaid al-Iraqi, is considered part of Baghdadi’s inner circle and has responsibilities for financial, religious and security portfolios across the group’s territory in Iraq and Syria.”

“This is the operation that broke the skull of the Islamic State. Other operations were just breaking bones,” Hashimi added. “Soon, Baghdadi will be killed or captured.”

Iraqi and U.S. officials have long asserted their belief that Baghdadi is hiding in the sliver of territory ISIS controls in Syria, close to the border with Iraq.- READ MORE

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