On May 9, the Iraqi National Intelligence Service (INIS) announced that it had captured five senior ISIS commanders on the Syrian-Iraqi border and in Turkey after a successful operation, codenamed “operation 732″.
The INIS revealed that four of the captured ISIS commanders had been Iraqi citizens named “Mohamad al-Qader”, “Omar al-Karbuli”, “Issam Zawb’a” and “Ismail al-Eithawi” [a top aid of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi].
The fifth captured ISIS commander a Syrian national, “Saddam al-Jamal”. He’s an infamous commander of ISIS who is responsible for several massacres in the Syrian governorate of Deir Ezzor.
Spokesman for the US-led coalition US Army Colonel Ryan Dillon said on May 10 that the INIS security operation had been coordinated with the coalition and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in eastern Syria.
Iraqi security advisor Hisham al-Hashimi confirmed Col. Dillon’s claims in an interview with Reuters and revealed that Ismail al-Eithawi had been arrested in Turkey three months ago and had played a key role in the operation, which led to the arrest of the four other ISIS commanders.
According to al-Hashimi, agents of the INIS used the Telegram messaging app on Eithawi’s mobile phone to lure the other ISIS commanders to cross the border from Syria into Iraq, where they were captured by a joint force.
The INIS operation has been the biggest blow to ISIS leadership so far, according to observers, who believe that this operation will pressure and confuse the remaining commanders of ISIS, especially al-Baghdadi.