Iraqi forces arrest ISIS leader, assistant in Baghdad

Members of the Iraqi security forces take their positions during an intensive security deployment west of Baghdad, June 24, 2014. Reuters

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Iraqi security forces arrested an Islamic State (ISIS) leader and his assistant in Baghdad, the intelligence agency said on Sunday.

Iraqi Intelligence Service said in a statement that its forces had detained so-called ISIS intelligence service official for Fallujah Abu Saleem al-Mawla in Baghdad.

The intelligence forces also arrested his brother who it said worked as Mawla’s assistant in Fallujah.

“The arrest came after they were followed up from Fallujah district to Baghdad governorate, specifically the Dora area,” the intelligence service said.

“They confessed that they belong to the militant group and admitted their participation in several terrorist operations against the security forces and citizens,” it added.

Iraqi forces have stepped up efforts to detain ISIS militants in the provinces of Kirkuk, Saladin, Nineveh, Anbar and Baghdad.

On Saturday, Iraqi security media cell said the security forces had arrested 26 “terrorists” during an operation to pursue ISIS remnants in Nineveh province.

Iraq declared victory over Islamic State in December 2017 but the militants have regrouped in the Hamrin mountain range which extends into the northern provinces – an area described by officials as a “triangle of death”.

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