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Turkey says it captured sister of dead ISIS leader Baghdadi in northern Syria

Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi (Defense Department photo / released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Turkey has captured the older sister of slain Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in northwestern Syria, Turkish officials say.

Reuters and AP quoted a senior official as saying that Rasmiya Awad, 65, was found during a raid on November 4 near the Turkish-controlled town of Azaz, in Aleppo Province.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Awad was found in a trailer where she was living with her husband, daughter-in-law, and five children.

Awad could be an intelligence “gold mine,” the official said.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s communications director, Fahrettin Altun, hailed the arrest as “another example of the success of our counterterrorism operations.”

Little is known about Baghdadi’s sister.

Following Baghdadi’s death last month, a person named Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi was named the new leader of the extremist group on October 31.

Baghdadi, who had led the IS group since 2014, died on October 26 during a U.S. Special Forces raid in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib.

It was not immediately clear who Qurayshi was, since IS commonly identifies its leaders with aliases tied to their tribal affiliation and lineage. Those names often change.

Despite losing control over much of Syria and Iraq from a U.S.-led military operation over the past several years, IS still remains a security threat.