Kurdish forces arrest ISIS leader near Halabja: Coalition

A member of the Kurdish Asayish security force in Sulaimani, March 14, 2020. (AFP)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Kurdish security forces detained an Islamic State (ISIS) leader near Halabja, the U.S.-led Coalition forces said on Monday.

Special Operations Joint Task Force-Levant said the Kurdish security forces conducted an operation on Monday to arrest an ISIS leader near Halabja.

“Kurdish Security forces conducted an operation today leading to the capture of one Daesh leader near Halabja to disrupt the transportation of terrorists in the region,” it said in a tweet.

On December 9, the security forces detained a group of ISIS militants during a raid in Halabja province, intending to carry out “terrorist acts” in Sulaimani and Halabja as well as Garmian administration.

On Saturday, the SOJTF-Levant said 25 ISIS facilitators were detained during the raid.

Kurdish forces have detained dozens of ISIS suspects in Kurdistan in the past months.

Earlier this month, Kurdish counter-terrorism forces arrested two “terrorists” in the Kurdistan Region. They confessed that they were involved in “several terrorist acts” in Kirkuk and Hamrin mountains, the counter-terrorism directorate said on December 2.

In September, the Kurdish forces detained a group of seven ISIS militants in Erbil, planning to carry out “terrorist acts” in the city.

In July, the security forces also detained a group of ISIS militants including five suspects who planned to attack the Erbil governorate’s building and places where foreign nationals stay.

The federal government announced victory over ISIS by the end of 2017 after Iraqi and Kurdish forces backed by U.S.-led Coalition regained control of areas once captured by the militant group.

Despite its defeat, ISIS still poses a threat to the security and stability of the country as there are still sleeper cells in Iraq.

*This story was updated at 12:47 p.m. EBL time

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