Turkish forces have captured the wife of former Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced. He also confirmed that Turkey had detained al-Baghdadi’s sister and brother-in-law in Syria.
“The United States said al-Baghdadi killed himself in a tunnel. They started a communication campaign about this,” Erdogan said on Wednesday during a speech at Ankara University.
But, I am announcing it here for the first time: We captured his wife and didn’t make a fuss like them. Similarly, we also captured his sister and brother-in-law in Syria.
Earlier reports citing unnamed Turkish officials claimed that al-Baghdadi’s wife, Rasmiya Awad, had been captured alongside her husband and daughter-in-law during a raid in Azaz, northwest Syria.
Her husband was reportedly killed in a US military operation several days before. Al-Baghdadi is said to have detonated a suicide vest after failing to escape.
Sensational reports of al-Baghdadi’s demise have been met with skepticism by some, who have questioned the Pentagon’s narrative that the terrorist-in-chief was vanquished and then buried at sea. Washington claims that it conducted a DNA test on the body, confirming it to be that of al-Baghdadi. Last week, the Pentagon declassified a drone video purportedly showing the raid.