Iraqi intelligence arrest senior Islamic State leader in Anbar

Iraqi military intelligence services arrested on Wednesday a senior Islamic State leader in the western province of Anbar.

The Iraqi Military Intelligence Directorate, in a statement, said that its troops “arrested Abu Anas al-Samarei, the military adviser of an Islamic State commander, who was responsible for collecting weapons from citizens, who serve in the Iraqi security apparatus.”

Samarei, according to the statement, was arrested during a military operation in Annah district of Anbar.

Iraq declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in Iraq in November 2017 with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.

IS declared a self-styled “caliphate” in a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria in 2014. A government campaign, backed by a U.S.-led international coalition and paramilitary forces, was launched in 2016 to retake IS-held regions, managing to retake all havens, most notably the city of Mosul, the group’s previously proclaimed capital.

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