Turkey announces capture of slain IS leader's sister in Syria

Al-Baghdadi was killed in a US raid in the nearby province of Idlib

baghdadi-isis-afp Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi | AFP

A senior Turkish official says Turkey has captured the older sister of the slain leader of the Islamic State group in northwestern Syria, calling the arrest an intelligence "gold mine." Little is known about the sister of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. 

The Turkish official said that the 65-year-old known as Rasmiya Awad was captured in a raid on Monday on a trailer container she was living in with her family near the town of Azaz. The area is part of the region administered by Turkey.

The 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.

Al-Baghdadi was killed in a US raid in the nearby province of Idlib last month. 

IS confirmed the death of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a statement last week and named his replacement as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi.

"We mourn you... commander of the faithful," said Abu Hamza al-Quraishi, presented as the jihadist group's new spokesman, in an audio statement.

Baghdadi, who led IS since 2014 and was the world's most wanted man, was killed in a US special forces raid in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib on Sunday.

The group also confirmed the killing in another raid the following day of the group's previous spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir.

The statement said the jihadist group's legislative and consultative body convened after the 48-year-old Iraqi-born jihadist chief's death.

"The Islamic State shura council convened immediately after confirming the martyrdom of Sheikh Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and the elders of the holy warriors agreed" on a replacement, said the seven-minute message.

Little is known about Hashimi, whose name was seldom mentioned as a possible successor the multiple times that Baghdadi was reported killed in recent years.

-Inputs from PTI