Out of the blue, on Thursday morning a euphoric President Trump tweeted on Thursday that five of the "Most Wanted leaders of ISIS" have been captured.
Five Most Wanted leaders of ISIS just captured!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2018
Hours before, a security advisor to Iraq's government said that Iraqi agents had detained a top aide to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, then used an app on his smartphone to lure four commanders from the terrorist organization into a trap - convincing the four Iraqis and one Syrian to cross the border from Syria to Iraq where they were captured by officials.
The aide, Ismail al-Eithawi (a.k.a. Abu Zaid al-Iraqi) was captured in Turkey by authorities and handed over to Iraqi counterparts, according to an account told to Reuters by Iraqi security advisor Hisham al-Hashimi. What followed was a three-month operation to track a group of senior Islamic State leaders hiding in Syria and Turkey.
Those arrested included Saddam al-Jammel, a Syrian who had been the head of the Islamic State territory around Deir al-Zour, and Abu Abdel al-Haq, an Iraqi who had been the head of internal security for the group. Two other Iraqis were also arrested, the officials said. -New York Times
Iraqi Intelligence announce they have captured 5 high ranking ISIS commanders in a daring mission which lured to across the border. One captured is Saddam Al-Jamal, originally from Al-Bukamal #Syria #ISIS #Iraq pic.twitter.com/T3bUq0Xku0— Gareth Browne (@BrowneGareth) May 9, 2018
Al-Jamal AKA Abu Udai Al-Jamal was particularly prominent in his hometown. He is reported to have lead a massacre of more than 70 in 2014 near Al-Bukamal. (2)— Gareth Browne (@BrowneGareth) May 9, 2018
Iraqi agents used the Telegram messaging app on Eithawi's mobile phone to lure other Islamic State commanders to cross the border from Syria into Iraq, where they were captured. Those held include Saddam Jamal, a Syrian who served as the group's governor of Syria's eastern Euphrates region.
Hashimi described Eithawi and Jamal as the two most senior Islamic State figures ever to be captured alive. The capture of all five was announced on Iraqi state TV on Wednesday.
Hashimi said the operation was carried out in cooperation with U.S. forces, part of an American-led coalition fighting against Islamic State on both sides of the Iraqi-Syrian border. -Daily Mail
Following the capture of Eithawi, US and Iraqi intelligence agents worked to uncover bank accounts used by the terrorist organization, as well as secret communication codes they had been using, Hashimi said.
The other three men captured were ISIL field commanders: Syrian Mohamed al-Qadeer and two Iraqis, Omar al-Karbouli and Essam al-Zawbai, according to Hashimi - who said 'The noose is tightening around him,' referring to Baghdadi, whose real name is Ibrahim al-Samarrai.
Baghdadi is believed to be in hiding in the Iraqi-Syrian border region after the loss of once-captured cities and towns of his self-proclaimed caliphate.
Iraq, meanwhile, is committed to eradicating Syrian-based militants, according to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
The Iraqi air force has carried out several air strikes since last year against Islamic State positions in Syrian territory.
Abadi declared final victory last December over the ultra-hardline group within Iraq. But the militants still pose a threat along the border with Syria and have continued to carry out ambushes, killings and bombings across Iraq.
Islamic State militants last month restated their loyalty to Baghdadi, in what is believed to be their first public pledge of allegiance to him since his self-proclaimed caliphate collapsed last year in both Syria and Iraq. -Daily Mail
Adding this to the three rescued hostages from North Korea, and it's clear that the Trump administration is having a very good day.
Wow. I wonder if these are the guys Obama have back in exchange for Bergdahl? The count for the past 12 hours is pretty impressive. 3 captive brought home 5 isis leaders captured. Today is a good day. https://t.co/Xjo900RKGp— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) May 10, 2018
This is a remarkable story. The level of coordination and cooperation between the U.S., Iraq, and Turkey is also noteworthy. https://t.co/Gr6WHUclDU— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) May 10, 2018
✅ Set a summit to bring peace to the Korean Peninsula— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) May 10, 2018
✅ Secure the release of American hostages in North Korea + welcome them back home
✅ Capture the Top 5 most wanted members of ISIS
Pretty damn good week for the President @realDonaldTrump and his Administration.