Turkey forces captured the elder sister of the killed leader of Islamic State group in northwestern Syria on Monday, November 4, according to a senior Turkish official.
The Turkish official said Rasmiya Awad (65 year old) has been suspected of being affiliated with the extremist group. The official did not elaborate.
Rasmiya Awad was captured in a raid Monday, November 4 on a trailer container she was living in with her family near the town of Azaz in Aleppo province. The area is part of the region administered by Turkey after it carried out a military incursion to chase away IS militants and Kurdish fighters starting 2016. Allied Syrian groups manage the area known as the Euphrates Shield zone, reported Associated Press.
Turkey official said the sister was with her husband, daughter-in-law and five children. The adults are being interrogated, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government protocol.
"This kind of thing is an intelligence gold mine. What she knows about (IS) can significantly expand our understanding of the group and help us catch more bad guys," the official said.
Al-Baghdadi was killed in a US raid in the nearby province of Idlib in October. The raid was a major blow to the group, which has lost territories it held in Syria and Iraq in a series of military defeats by the U.S-led coalition and Syrian and Iraqi allies.
al-Baghdadi was known to be close to one of his brothers, known by his nom de guerre Abu Hamza.
Al-Baghdadi's aide, a Saudi, was killed hours after the raid, also in northwestern Syria, in a US strike. The group named a successor to al-Baghdadi days later, but little is known about him or how the group's structure has been affected by the successive blows.