Turkey says it captured the sister of ISIS leader killed Baghdadi in Syria

BEIRUT: Turkey he captured the older sister of the murdered leader of the Islamic State group in northwestern Syria on Monday, according to a senior Turkish official, who described the arrest as an intelligence goldmine.

Little is known about the sister of. The Turkish official said it is suspected that the 65-year-old man known as Rasmiya Awad is affiliated with the extremist group. He did not give more details.

Awad was captured in a raid Monday evening on a trailer container she was living in with her family near the town of Azaz in Aleppo province. The area is part of the region administered by Turkey after it carried out a military incursion to chase away IS militants and Kurdish fighters starting 2016. Allied Syrian groups manage the area known as the Euphrates Shield zone.

The official said the sister was with her husband, daughter-in-law and five children. The adults are being questioned, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity according to the government protocol.

`` This kind of thing is an intelligence gold mine. What she knows about (IS) can significantly expand our understanding of the group and help us catch more bad guys, '' the official said.

Al-Baghdadi, an Iraqi from Samarra, was killed in an American raid in nearby Idlib province last month. The raid was a great blow to the group, which lost the territories it had in Syria and Iraq in a series of military defeats by the US-led coalition and Syrian and Iraqi allies.

Many IS members have escaped through smuggling routes to northwestern Syria in the last days of the battle before the group's territorial defeat earlier this year, while others have melted in the desert in Syria or Iraq. .

It was known that the lonely leader al-Baghdadi was close to one of his brothers, known by his war name Abu Hamza.

Al-Baghdadi's aide, a Saudi, was killed hours after the raid, also in northwestern Syria, in a US attack. The group named a successor to al-Baghdadi days later, but little is known about him or how the group's structure has been affected by successive blows.