Iraqi security forces have begun interrogating Abdel Nasser Qardash, a member of the Daesh* terrorist group who was tapped as its new leader, according to an armed forces spokesman.
“Qardash is being held by Iraqi intelligence. The information he has is very important. This man is seen as a ‘databank’ and his capture is essentially a huge blow for [Daesh],” Yahya Rasool said.
Iraq announced Qardash’s capture on Wednesday. He has long been seen as the group’s second-in-command, and poised to take over after the purported death of Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in Syria last autumn.
According to US President Donald Trump, al-Baghdadi was killed during an operation conducted by US Special Forces in Syria’s Idlib back in October 2019.
Earlier in the week, two regional Daesh* leaders responsible for the group’s supplies and guidance were killed in a joint operation by US-led coalition and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Rasool said Daesh* was still active in Iraq and claimed that sleeper cells were plotting terror attacks across the country. The Iraqi military has been sharing information on Daesh* operations with Syria, Iran and Russia.