Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said that his government has captured the wife of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, shortly after the former Islamic State leader killed himself during a raid by United States special forces.
“But, I am announcing it here for the first time. We captured his wife and didn’t make a fuss like them. Similarly, we also captured his sister and brother- in- law in Syria,” Erdogan who gave no further details said while delivering a speech at Ankara University.
Earlier this week, a senior Turkish official said that Turkey had captured Baghdadi’s sister, her husband and daughter-in-law and hoped to gain intelligence from them about the operations of the Islamic State.
Baghdadi, who rose from obscurity to lead the ultra-hardline group had declared himself caliph of all Muslims, holding sway over huge areas of Iraq and Syria from 2014 to 2017 before Islamic State’s control was wrested away by a US-led coalition.
Although world leaders welcomed his death, they and security experts warned that the group, which has carried out atrocities against religious minorities and horrified most Muslims remained a security threat in Syria and beyond.
Last month, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said two of Baghdadi’s wives had also been killed at the site of last month’s raid.
The group had last week announced the appointment of Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi as Baghdadi’s successor.