Iraqi cleric Sadr meets pro-Iran Amiri after election win

Iraqi cleric Sadr meets pro-Iran Amiri after election winBy Raya Jalabi BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) – Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose political bloc was declared the winner of Iraq’s parliamentary election, met Hadi al-Amiri, leader of a pro-Iran bloc, on Sunday in what Sadr portrayed as part of an inclusive discussion about government formation. During the meeting, the political rivals discussed the results of the 2018 parliamentary elections, according to a statement from Sadr’s office. “The process of government formation must be a national decision and importantly, must include the participation of all the winning blocs,” the statement said.

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A deputy to ISIS leader Baghdadi is among 5 key members captured by Iraqi forces

  1. A deputy to ISIS leader Baghdadi is among 5 key members captured by Iraqi forces  Washington Post
  2. Five senior ISIS officials captured in US-Iraqi sting operation, reports say  USA TODAY
  3. Trump tweets 5 key ISIS leaders captured  CNN
  4. In the Middle East right now, all sides in this complex battle are staring at each other with increasing concern  The Independent
  5. Iraqis voting in first election since Islamic State  Reuters
  6. Full coverage

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Five key Isil leaders captured in sting after Iraqi agents lure them into trap using Telegram app

Five key Isil leaders captured in sting after Iraqi agents lure them into trap using Telegram appDonald Trump boasted on Thursday about the capture of Isil’s five most-wanted, as it emerged a key aide to leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and four others were captured in a sting operation in Iraq.  “Five Most Wanted leaders of ISIS just captured!” the US President tweeted shortly after 3pm. It is not yet known if the US played any role in the operation. A security advisor to the Iraqi government told Reuters that Iraqi agents had used an app on the mobile phone of the senior aide to lure four commanders from the group into a trap. Ismail al-Eithawi, who also uses the alias Abu Zaid al-Iraqi, was captured in February in Turkey by Turkish authorities and handed over to Iraqi agents, Iraqi security advisor Hisham al-Hashimi said. Hashimi described Eithawi as a direct aide to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) leader Baghdadi, responsible for funds transfers to the group’s bank accounts in different countries. Five Most Wanted leaders of ISIS just captured!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2018 Iraqi agents used the Telegram messaging app on Eithawi’s mobile phone to lure other Isil commanders to cross the border from Syria into Iraq, where they were captured, Hashimi said. Those held include Saddam Jamal, a Syrian who served as the group’s governor of Syria’s eastern Euphrates region. Hashimi described Eithawi and Jamal as the two most senior Isil figures ever to be captured alive. The capture of all five was announced on Iraqi state TV on Wednesday. Hashimi said the operation was carried out in cooperation with U.S. forces, part of an American-led coalition fighting against Islamic State on both sides of the Iraqi-Syrian border. Following Eithawi’s capture, Iraqi and American intelligence agents were able to uncover bank accounts used by the group and also secret communication codes he used, Hashimi said. FAQ | Islamic State Apart from Eithawi and Jamal, the operation captured three field commanders: Syrian Mohamed al-Qadeer and two Iraqis, Omar al-Karbouli and Essam al-Zawbai, Hashimi said. “The noose is tightening around him,” Hashimi said, referring to Baghdadi, whose real name is Ibrahim al-Samarrai. Baghdadi, who declared himself ruler of all Muslims in 2014 after capturing Iraq’s main northern city Mosul, is now believed to be hiding in the Iraqi-Syrian border region after losing all the cities and towns of his self-proclaimed caliphate. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said last month he would “take all necessary measures” against militants based in Syria. The Iraqi air force has carried out several air strikes since last year against Isil positions in Syrian territory. Abadi declared final victory last December over the ultra-hardline group within Iraq. But the militants still pose a threat along the border with Syria and have continued to carry out ambushes, killings and bombings across Iraq. Isil militants last month restated their loyalty to Baghdadi, in what is believed to be their first public pledge of allegiance to him since his self-proclaimed caliphate in Syria and Iraq collapsed last year.

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