Turkey on Friday reaffirmed its determination in fighting against Daesh terrorist organization and confirmed the “apprehension of a leading member of Daesh” in Turkey's northwestern Sakarya province.
Foreign Ministry in a written statement said: "The operation referred to in the New York Times article published on May 9 initially started with the apprehension of a leading member of DAESH, Ismail Alwaan al-Ithawi, by the Turkish intelligence and law enforcement agencies in Sakarya and his subsequent deportation to Iraq."
The ministerial statement came shortly after U.S. President Donald Trump and Col. Ryan Dillon, the U.S.-led Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve’s (CJTF-OIR) spokesman, announced yesterday the arrest of five Daesh leaders.
The statement also said: "Turkey has mobilized all its national capacity in the fight against DAESH. We are pleased to see that the international cooperation established in this regard is yielding important results."
"We are pleased by the success of the operation that also benefited from Turkey’s contribution. Turkey shall continue its efforts in countering DAESH in cooperation with the US, Iraq, and other countries," it added.
On Wednesday, the Iraqi state television announced the capture of the high ranking Daesh terrorists and published their photographs and identity cards.
Iraqi security sources, who wished to remain anonymous due to restrictions on speaking to the media, said the terror group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was hiding somewhere at the Iraq-Syria border.
Last December, officials in Baghdad declared that Daesh's military presence in Iraq had been all but dismantled over operations backed by the U.S.-led International Alliance.
However, from time to time, Iraqi officials announce operations against Daesh-affiliated “sleeper cells” in certain parts of the country.