WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that five of the “most wanted” ISIS leaders have been captured.
Five Most Wanted leaders of ISIS just captured!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2018
Spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve Army Col. Ryan Dillon tweeted on Thursday that Iraq captured five key ISIS leaders as part of Operation Roundup.
The tweet did not specify when or where the five were captured or give any names, but it did categorize the individuals as “key” ISIS leaders rather than “most wanted” as stated in Trump’s post.
Dillon’s tweet said the capture was a coordinated operation between Iraqi and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.
#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.
— OIR Spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins III (@OIRSpox) May 10, 2018
A statement released by the Pentagon later Thursday congratulated Iraqi security forces on the capture “of ISIS leaders on the Iraq-Syria border.”
“These arrests are a significant blow to ISIS as we continue to remove its leadership and fighters from the battlefield,” said Maj. Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman.
“The success of this operation is indicative of the improved capabilities of our partners to defeat ISIS,” he added. “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.”
According to two Iraqi sources aware of the capture and Iraqi state television, the five ISIS leaders in question were captured in early spring, and based on the names in those reports ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was not among them.
Iraqi state television, al-Iraqiya TV, released a report Wednesday on the capture.
Al-Iraqiya cited Iraqi intelligence claiming they were captured after being lured from Syria into Iraq this spring. The mission was dubbed “Operation 732” by Iraqi intelligence.
Al-Iraqiya also showed a video of the captured individuals wearing yellow jumpsuits.