Turkey has apprehended the wife and 13 people from the inner circle of slain ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said on two separate occasions, as he praised the country’s fight against the jihadist group.
“We apprehended 13 people from his inner circle and now they are under our custody. We are fighting against ISIS like this and we are determined,” Erdoğan said during a press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Nov. 7.
“There isn’t any country that takes a stance this strong against ISIS in the world. The results of our fight against ISIS is apparent,” he added.
A day earlier, Erdoğan made a surprise announcement, saying that Baghdadi’s wife Asma Fawzi Muhammad Al-Qubaysi has been under Turkish custody for some one and a half years, adding that his child was also apprehended alongside the woman.
“It’s important that Baghdadi’s child, whose DNA was tested, was with his wife,” he said on Nov. 6.
Following the U.S. raid that killed Baghdadi in Idlib, his sister, her husband and and her daughter-in-law were caught by Turkish forces.
Praising the operations that Baghdadi’s family members were apprehended, Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said “Anyone who doubts our determination about going after all terror groups should take another look at Turkish government’s record in pursuing terrorists.”
In his tweet, Altun stated the determination of Turkey in fighting ISIS, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliate People’s Protection Units (YPG).