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'Most Wanted' ISIS Commanders Captured in Cross-Border Sting Operation

'Most Wanted' ISIS Commanders Captured in Cross-Border Sting Operation

Intelligence officers had tracked them for three months as they made their way through Turkey and Syria, the New York Times reported.

The ISIS leaders who were apprehended do not include al-Baghdadi, a senior USA official confirmed to CBS News' Margaret Brennan.

A USA national security official said there were no indications that the operation had captured Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of ISIS who has always been the coalition's top target.

Five senior Islamic State officials have been captured, including a top aide to the group's leader, in a complex cross-border sting carried out by Iraqi and American intelligence, two Iraqi officials said Wednesday.

Five Most Wanted leaders of ISIS just captured!

Iraq had described the capture of the Islamic State commanders as "some of the most wanted" leaders of the group.

Hashimi added that Iraqi forces used the Telegram messaging app on Eithawi's mobile phone, and managed to tempt a number of Daesh commanders in Syria to cross the border into Iraq, where they were arrested. Those held include Saddam Jamal, a Syrian who served as the group's governor of Syria's eastern Euphrates region.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said last month he would "take all necessary measures" against militants based in Syria.

On December 9, 2017, Abadi declared the end of military operations against Daesh in Iraq.

American and Iraqi officials believe him to be hiding out close to the Iraqi-Syrian shared border.

The ISIS leaders are said to have featured in a series of sick execution videos, filmed when the extremist group controlled large swathes of 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 in Syria and Iraq collapsed a year ago.