Baghdadi: Turkey captures dead IS leader’s wife

ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

Turkey has captured a wife of former Islamic State (IS) group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says.

On Tuesday Turkey said it had detained Baghdadi’s sister in Syria.

Baghdadi killed himself during a raid by US special forces on his compound in north-west Syria last month.

His death was hailed as a victory for US President Donald Trump, but critics argue that IS remains a security threat in Syria and elsewhere.

Deal of the day

Last week the jihadist group confirmed Baghdadi’s death and named a new leader.

What did Erdogan say?

Speaking in the Turkish capital Ankara, Mr Erdogan said he was revealing the capture of Baghdadi’s wife for the first time and also said Turkey was holding the dead IS leader’s brother-in-law.

“The United States said Baghdadi killed himself in a tunnel. They started a communication campaign about this,” Mr Erdogan said, referring to details of the raid made public by US officials.

“But, I am announcing it here for the first time: we captured his wife and didn’t make a fuss like them. Similarly, we also captured his sister and brother-in-law in Syria.”

On Tuesday Turkish officials said the arrest of Baghdad’s sister Rasmiya Awad would yield valuable intelligence about IS.

The arrest was reportedly made on Monday in an area of Aleppo province now under Turkey’s control.

Ms Awad was found in a trailer, where she was living with her husband, daughter-in-law and five children, a Turkish official told AP news agency, adding she was being interrogated on suspicion of involvement with an extremist group.

Experts say the town where Ms Awad was captured is a known smuggling route for IS families.