The Wife Of ISIS Leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Was Caught & Detained In Lebanon With Fake Papers
As airstrikes rage on in northern Syria, the wife of an ISIS leader was detained in Lebanon — a major break in the ongoing conflict with the terrorist group responsible for beheading Western hostages, including American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. An unnamed source close to the situation told CNN that the woman, who's reportedly married to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was taken into custody by the Lebanese military. It's currently unknown why she was traveling to Lebanon.
Although BBC News, as well as several other outlets, reported that a son of al-Baghdadi was also detained with his mother, Al Arabiya News Channel reports it's actually his daughter. A senior Lebanese security official confirmed to the news source that a DNA test was done to verify the child's identity.
The pair was reportedly taken into custody 10 days ago after they entered Lebanon at a border crossing with fraudulent papers. A source told Agence France-Presse that the wife was captured with the help of "military intelligence."
The names of al-Baghdadi's wife and child have yet to be formally released, but The Guardian reports the wife is Saja al-Dulaimi, an Iraqi who was seen in photos that surfaced earlier this year. She's believed to be one of two wives of al-Baghdadi, who's the primary leader of ISIS and was declared "caliph" in late June.
Because of al-Baghdadi's role in the extreme terrorism currently waging war on northern Iraq and Syria, the detainment of his wife and child is believed to be a pivotal development in the battle against ISIS. Lebanese newspaper As-Safir, which was one of the first outlets to report the story, described the detainment as "a valuable catch." The newspaper added that the wife and son are currently being question at the Lebanese defence ministry's headquarters.
Neither the U.S. Department of State nor the White House has confirmed the detainment. On Monday, the Department of Defense released an update on its airstrikes on ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria. Between Nov. 28 and Dec. 1, the U.S. military and other allied military forces conducted 28 airstrikes — at least 17 in Syria — against the terrorists, the DoD said. The recent airstrikes were mostly centered on the city of Kobani, located on the Syria-Turkey border.
In early November, it was reported that al-Baghdadi was critically injured in an U.S.-led airstrike near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. Iraqi state television was the first outlet to report on al-Baghdadi's injuries.
There have been conflicting reports over whether or not al-Baghdadi was hit in the attack, and even the location of the attack. Iraq's Interior Ministry told CNN in November that the ISIS leader was wounded in an airstrike in al-Qaim, a town more than 200 miles from Mosul. U.S. military officials have yet to confirm these reports, but around that time in November, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said in a briefing that ISIS was "degraded" and losing power in some regions. "Sustaining this pressure on ISIL will help provide time and space for Iraq to reconstitute its forces and continue going on the offense," Hagel said at the time.
However, the defense secretary added that the United States is still at the "front end of the campaign" against terrorism in Iraq and Syria.
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