Iraq says five ISIS commanders captured after crossing from Syria

President Donald Trump on Thursday hailed the fact that five of the "most wanted" Islamic State leaders have been captured recently, including Abu Zeid al-Iraqi, one of the main collaborators of the organisation's chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Iraqi agents used the Telegram messaging app on Eithawi's mobile phone to lure other Islamic State commanders to cross the border from Syria into Iraq, where they were captured, Hashimi said.

Hashimi said the operation was carried out in cooperation with USA forces, part of an American-led coalition fighting against Islamic State on both sides of the Iraqi-Syrian border. The Iraqi air force has carried out several air strikes since a year ago against Daesh positions in Syrian territory.

Earlier this month the coalition announced a drive to clear the final pockets of IS territory inside Syria.

It described the five as "some of the most wanted" leaders of the group.

On Thursday, 260 voting stations were opened across Iraq, including in Kurdistan semi-autonomous region, at 0400 GMT for almost 130,000 members of the ministries of defense and interior as well as police, security forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters.

Iraqi authorities on Wednesday said Iraq's global airports and border crossings would be closed from midnight Friday, ahead of the parliamentary election on Saturday.

Now, with the group's physical caliphate largely destroyed, anti-IS operations are increasingly focused on targeting the extremists' remaining leadership.

  • Rogelio Becker