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Iraq PM announces detention of top Daesh leader

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi says security forces have detained Sami Jasim, a top member of the Daesh terrorist group and deputy of slain leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

In a tweet on Monday, al-Kadhimi said Jasim was captured in “one of the most difficult" cross-border intelligence operations ever conducted by Iraqi forces.

Jasim was also in charge of the financial operations of Daesh.

The Associated Press cited Iraqi intelligence officials, who asked not to be named, as saying that Jasim was arrested in an identified foreign country and transported to Iraq a few days ago.

The news comes after the Iraqi premier said on Sunday after casting his vote in the parliamentary elections that the government would announce a "major security achievement” on Monday.

The parliamentary elections were held earlier than their original 2022 schedule in response to the public demands for economic reforms.

Daesh began a terror campaign in Iraq in 2014, overrunning vast swathes in lightning attacks.

The terrorist group had emerged in Iraq amid the chaos that resulted from more than a decade of United States-led invasion.

In 2017, the Iraqi government formally declared victory over Daesh extremists.

Baghdadi was killed in a raid by the US military in Syria's northwestern Idlib province in October 2017.

Earlier this month, fighters of the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) or Hashd al-Sha’abi, an umbrella anti-terror organization, repelled an attack by the remnants of Daesh in northern Iraq.

Daesh’s sleeper cells ramped up their attacks in the run-up to the October 10 parliamentary elections.


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