Turkey has captured the elder sister of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the slain leader of the “Islamic State” (IS) group, according to a senior Turkish official.
The official said the 65-year-old known as Rasmiya Awad was captured in a raid on Monday on a trailer container she had been living in with her family in Azaz, in northeastern Syria. The official called the arrest “an intelligence gold mine.”
“What she knows about [IS] can significantly expand our understanding of the group and help us catch more bad guys,” the official said.
Azaz is a town in a region that is administered by Turkey. Allied Syrian forces manage the area, known as the Euphrates Shield zone.
Awad was with her husband, daughter-in-law and five children at the time of the arrest. The adults are being interrogated, the official said.
Little is known about the reclusive leader’s sister. Al-Baghdadi was known to be close to one of his brothers, known as Abu Hamza.
Al-Baghdadi was killed in the nearby province of Idlib during a US raid last month. The raid was a major blow to the militant group, which has lost most of its territory in Syria and Iraq after a series of military defeats by a US-led coalition and Syrian and Iraqi allies.
dv/cmk (AP, Reuters)
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