Iraqi security officials have arrested two high ranking ISIS commanders operating out of the city of Samarra in Iraq. According to Al-Arabiya, the arrested commanders has been identified as Saleh Ibrahim Abdulmomen and Dhiya Nouri Sadoun. According to the report, Abdulmomen is said to be an uncle of ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, while Dhiya Nouri Sadoun is said to be the husband of one of his nieces. The report of the arrest of these two high-ranking ISIS commanders was first reported by a state-owned Iraqi TV channel. The channel quoted an official from the Iraqi security forces, who confirmed the arrests. According to him, the arrest of Baghdadi’s relatives were carried out by a group from the Regiment Special Assignments.
“A group from the Regiment Special Assignments was able to arrest Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s uncle, named Saleh Ibrahim Abdulmomen and niece’s husband Dhiya Nouri Sadoun,” he said. The official who has not been identified was employed at Iraq’s southern governorate of Dhi Qar.
“The detainees are among the top level of ISIS commanders in Samarra.”
Turkish newspaper Vestnik Kavkaza, too, has reported about the arrest of ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s relatives by Iraqi forces.
The arrest of these top level ISIS commanders comes close on the heels of the launch of a fresh military operation launched by Iraqi forces in Anbar province, which has been under the control of ISIS for several months. This is in addition to at least three air strikes carried out by the U.S., and its coalition partners in Syria, against ISIS. In Iraq, the coalition forces reportedly carried out eight separate strikes in an attempt to weaken the ISIS’ grip over large a swathe of land. Meanwhile, in the Syrian-Turkish border town of Kobani, there have been reports of three tactical air strikes that reportedly destroyed several ISIS facilities and neutralized two ISIS vehicles. The strikes also resulted in the destruction of an ISIS operated building.
At this stage, it is unclear as to how damaging a blow it would be for ISIS to have two of their top commanders arrested. However, the fact that Iraqi security forces were able to nab people said to be close to the elusive ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is bound to raise confidence levels among Iraqi troops fighting the ISIS in Iraq.
[Image via the National Review]