President Trump tweeted Thursday that 5 of the ‘most wanted’ ISIS leaders ‘have just been captured.
Confessions from the five men, clad in jumpsuits and handcuffed were also broadcast on Iraqi television. First to be captured was Ismail al-Eithawi, described as a close aide to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and then the other men were lured across the syrian border into Iraq using an app on his phone.
The Iraqi government reported that intelligence gathered during interrogations led to an airstrike that allegedly killed another 40 terrorists.
In a separate tweet, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, Army Col. Ryan Dillon, said that the leaders had been captured as part of Operation Roundup.
His tweet read: “#Iraq captures 5 key Daesh leaders during #OperationRoundup. The arrest is a significant blow to Daesh & demonstrates close coordination between #ISF & #SDF in their fight to #defeatDaesh. @CJTFOIR is committed to lasting defeat of Daesh & setting conditions for stabilization.”
The Pentagon later released a statement congratulating Iraqi security forces on the capture.
According to CNN, Pentagon spokesman Maj. Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway said: “These arrests are a significant blow to ISIS as we continue to remove its leadership and fighters from the battlefield. The success of this operation is indicative of the improved capabilities of our partners to defeat ISIS. The coalition is not in a position to confirm details on the captured leaders, and we have no additional information to offer at this time.”