Two ISIL emirs captured in northern Syria, brought to Turkey
Uğur Ergan – ANKARATurkish special forces have captured two regional leaders of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), referred to as “emirs,” in the Syrian town of al-Bab, while Turkish air strikes as part of the Euphrates Shield Operation have killed 17 other “emirs” in the same town.
The captures came as Turkish special forces recently conducted a number of operations to capture ISIL emirs alive, Turkish military sources told daily Hürriyet.
The first captured emir was the person who ordered the Jan. 20 car bomb attack on Turkish soldiers fighting alongside Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels during which five Turkish troops were killed and nine others were wounded, sources said.
They added that the second emir was captured in another operation on Jan. 24 in al-Bab.
The two high-ranking leaders were also separately brought to Turkey to be interrogated especially regarding ISIL terrorists, weapons depots in al-Bab, and their contacts in ISIL’s de facto capital Raqqa.
The special forces acted upon intelligence that around 300 emirs were sent into al-Bab, especially from Raqqa and its surrounding area.
Turkish jets also conducted air strikes on a building where most of these emirs were staying and killed 17 of them, sources said.
Turkey launched its ongoing Euphrates Shield operation on Aug. 24, 2016 in order to free its border with Syria of ISIL and the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).
More than 40 Turkish troops have been killed in the operation, especially during clashes against ISIL in al-Bab, which FSA forces and Turkish troops have been trying to capture since early December 2016.