ISIS' 'most wanted' leaders captured in sting operation

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al Abadi greets his supporters during an election campaign rally in Najaf Iraq

A still photo from video posted on a militant website July 5, 2014, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Iraq during his first public appearance.

Iraq captured five Islamic State commanders after its intelligence services lured them into crossing from neighbouring Syria, Iraqi state TV reported on Wednesday.

"While I could have done without the long nights, sleeping on the floor of my station, I was proud of the work we did there including the successful capture of two major terrorists, a counterproliferation operation that went our way, and the dismantlement of a local terrorist cell", she continued.

Five senior leaders of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) were captured in a joint operation involving US and Iraqi forces.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said last month he would "take all necessary measures" against militants based in Syria.

Turkish authorities captured Ismail al-Eithawi, a top aide to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and handled worldwide money orders for the group, in February and gave him to Iraqi's security advisor to the government Hisham al-Hashimi. The paper reports that the operation began after Turkish authorities arrested a top aide to ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in February and extradited him to Iraq.

Following the airstrike, the paper reports, USA and Iraqi agents persuaded al-Ithawi to help set a trap and convince the other ISIS leaders to leave Syria and enter Iraq.

The U.S. -led coalition supported Iraqi ground forces and Syrian fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces in the more than three-year war against IS.

Among the IS leaders captured are four Iraqis and one Syrian, according to the New York Times, citing Iraqi sources.

Although Baghdad declared victory over ISIS in December 2017, Iraqi and American officials concede that the jihadist group still poses a threat.

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