Major ISIS leader arrested in Kurdistan Region

The New Region

May. 17, 2024 • 2 min read
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The Kurdistan Region's Security Council announced the arrest of a key ISIS member, highlighting ongoing security concerns.

The Kurdistan Region’s Security Council on Friday announced the arrest of a major Islamic State (ISIS) member.

“The Kurdistan Region Security Council announces the arrest of a major terrorist by the name of Suqrat Khalil (known as Abdullah al-Tafkhikh), who was one of the main trustees of the ISIS caliph,” the Security Council announced in a video on Facebook.

The video added that the arrested was operating in Mosul as the terror group had control until 2017.

He had then returned to Syria and operated under direct command of former ISIS caliph Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi, according to the Security Council’s announcement.

The Security Council released a video confession of Khalil, admitting to the different fights he had participated in during his time in the lines of the terror group.

Khalil had spent five years in Turkey, according to his account, before he had travelled to the Kurdistan Region with a fake passport and was arrested.

ISIS took control of swathes of Iraqi territory in 2014, announcing their so-called caliphate with the city of Mosul as its capital, until Iraqi and Kurdish forces, with assistance from the US-led coalition forces regained control of the taken territories in 2017, announcing the group as territorially defeated.

However, the group still conducts occasional hit-and-run attacks and ambushes in several Iraqi territories, specifically areas disputed between Erbil and Baghdad.

The arrest of the ISIS leader comes as the Iraqi government is more insistent than ever on ending the US-led global coalition’s mission in Iraq, claiming that ISIS no longer poses a threat to the country, a claim that has been rejected by Kurdish authorities, who are perceived as strong allies of the US and fought alongside the coalition forces in the fight against ISIS.

Meetings have been held between Iraqi and US officials on ending the coalition’s mission, however the timeline of the coalition’s withdrawal from Iraq is still uncertain.

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