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Iraqi Forces With U.S. Backing Capture Five Top IS Leaders


Iraqi forces in coordination with U.S.-backed Syrian forces have captured five senior Islamic State (IS) leaders, the U.S.-led coalition fighting IS said on May 10.

The arrests were a "significant blow to Daesh," said coalition spokesman Army Colonel Ryan Dillon, using another name for IS. He did not name the militants.

Iraqi state TV identified the prisoners as Saddam al-Jammel, Mohamed al-Qadeer, Ismail al-Eithawi, Omar al-Karbouli, and Essam al-Zawbai, and showed them in yellow prisoner uniforms.

IS fighters no longer control significant pockets of territory inside Iraq but do maintain a grip inside Syria along Iraq's border.

Iraqi forces retook the northern city of Mosul from IS last summer while the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces on the other side of the border claimed a series of swift victories, including the recapture of IS's self-declared capital of Raqqa.

U.S. President Donald Trump in a tweet applauded the capture of what he called the "five most-wanted leaders" of the extremist group in the joint Iraqi-Syrian operation.

Despite Trump's tweet, IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi -- the coalition's top target, who is believed to be still alive -- was not among those captured. Iraqi officials said one of the prisoners, Ismail al-Eithawi, is a top Baghdadi aide.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
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