Abu Khaldoun, Daesh military commander for Salah al-Din province, captured in Kirkuk
Iraqi police arrested a key deputy of deceased Daesh/ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on Tuesday in Kirkuk province.
Abu Khaldoun was the terrorist group’s military commander for Salah al-Din province, according to Iraq’s Security Media Cell communications body.
He was arrested in the town of Hawija and was carrying a fake ID card.
Under Baghdadi, Daesh spread over wide segments of Iraq and Syria beginning in 2013, eventually claiming the formation of a “caliphate” in the region as it plotted and carried out gruesome attacks that reached far beyond its main territorial bastion.
It further set up local affiliates in other regions as it released heinous execution videos on the internet.
Baghdadi had been a top target for the U.S. under both the Trump and Obama administrations and had a $25 million bounty on his head.
As the U.S.-led coalition took back territories once under the terror group’s hold, Baghdadi increasingly stayed in the shadows, only rarely releasing pre-recorded audio messages to his followers.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar