First Published: 2018-02-15

Senior IS leader extradited to Iraq from Turkey
Iraqi authorities secure extradition of top IS leader tracked down through cooperation between Turkish, Iraqi, US intelligence.
Middle East Online

IS group's territory has been wiped out in Iraq, reduced to a small foothold in Syria.

BAGHDAD - Iraqi authorities said Thursday they have managed for the first time to have a top leader of the Islamic State group extradited from Turkey.

Ismail Alwan Salman al-Ithawi, 55, was tracked to Turkey's Sakarya region, detained and returned through cooperation between Turkish, Iraqi and US intelligence agencies, a senior official in the interior ministry's Falcons unit hunting IS members said.

The break came after his unit had "infiltrated the highest levels" of the jihadist group, he said.

A native of the Iraqi city of Ramadi, Ithawi was the group's "minister" in charge of religious edicts and headed a IS committee that decided on senior appointments, according to the official.

He had fled the group's now-shattered "caliphate" in Syria and was living under his brother's name in northern Turkey.

"We asked our ambassador in Ankara to intervene with the Turkish authorities by providing the arrest warrant issued by Iraqi courts and recent photos of Ismail," the official said.

IS swept across Syria and northern Iraq in a lightning advance in 2014, unleashing a reign of terror across a vast swathe of territory that lasted some three years.

The group's territory has now been wiped out in Iraq and reduced to a small foothold in Syria by a series of punishing assaults in both countries.

The focus has since switched to tracking down the group's senior leadership and the thousands of foreign fighters who once flocked to its banner.


Saudi to carry out nuclear power deal with or without US

Air strikes hit Ghouta despite rebel ceasefire effort

Three dead after suspected IS gunman takes hostages in France

US approves $1 billion in Saudi defence contracts

Exiled Syrian doctors treat refugees in Turkey

PKK to quit northwest Iraq after Turkish threat

Iraqi asylum seeker gets life sentence for London bombing

UK says Israeli sentencing of Palestinian teenage girl "emblematic"

Israel ministers welcome US appointment of 'friend' Bolton

Sarkozy vows to clear name in Libya probe

Syria announces second evacuation deal for rebel-held Eastern Ghouta.

170,000 flee violence in Syria's Afrin

Norway proposes bill to ban full-face veils in education

Turkey says EU statements on Cyprus 'unacceptable'

In world first, flight to Israel crosses Saudi airspace

Saudi, US must pursue 'urgent efforts' for Yemen peace: Mattis

US, Jordan launch new counterterrorism training centre

Turkey’s largest media group to be sold to Erdogan ally

Rebels evacuate Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Two Hamas security force members killed in raid on bomb suspect

Turkey gives watchdog power to block internet broadcasts

EU leaders to condemn Turkey’s ‘illegal’ actions in Mediterranean

Sarkozy says life ‘living hell’ since corruption allegations

Hezbollah leader says debt threatens Lebanon disaster

Ahed Tamimi reaches plea deal for eight months in jail

UN launching final push to salvage Libya political agreement

Conditions for displaced from Syria's Ghouta 'tragic': UN

Sisi urges Egyptians to vote, denies excluding rivals

Rights Watch says Libya not ready for elections

Saudis revamp school curriculum to combat Muslim Brotherhood

American mother trapped in Syria’s Ghouta calls out Trump

Syria workers say French firm abandoned them to jihadists

Grim Nowruz for Kurds fleeing Afrin

Sarkozy back in custody for second day of questioning

'Saudization' taking its toll on salesmen

Syrian rebels reach evacuation deal in Eastern Ghouta town

Israel confirms it hit suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007

UN says Turkey security measures 'curtail human rights'

Netanyahu says African migrants threaten Jewish majority

US Senate votes on involvement in Yemen war as Saudi prince visits

What a ‘limited strike’ against Syria’s Assad might mean

Erdogan tells US to stop ‘deceiving’, start helping on Syria

IS controls Damascus district in surprise attack

French ex-president held over Libya financing allegations

NGO says Israeli army violating Palestinian minors’ rights