Even after the death of ISIS' elusive chief Abu Bakr Baghdadi, which marked a remarkable triumph against terror, the crackdown against the so-called caliph's family is still being pursued. Ankara announced that is had captured four relatives of the slain terrorist in Turkey's Kırşehir province on November 16.
Turkish authorities informed that 25 close relatives of Baghdadi have been remanded by a Turkey Court for "being members of the armed terror group," according to the statement. Following the interrogations, 21 suspects, including two children were sent to a repatriation Centre in Turkey. On November 5, Turkey captured the sister and brother-in-law of Baghdadi in northern Syria and one of his wives two days later.
During the announcement of the capture of Baghdadi's wife, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that, unlike US, Turkey did not make a 'fuss' about it. Erdogan said, "The United States said al-Baghdadi killed himself in a tunnel. They started a communication campaign about this. But, I am announcing it here for the first time: We captured his wife and didn't make a fuss like them. Similarly, we also captured his sister and brother-in-law in Syria."
Over a week after the killing of Al Baghdadi, a senior Turkish official has announced the capture of Baghdadi's family members and intended to seek more information about the ISIS from them. While announcing the arrest of Baghdadi's sister, who is speculated to have affiliations with ISIS was cited to be an intelligence "gold mine."
However, the US has not been able to confirm whether the people captured by Turkey are indeed the family members of the slain ISIS terrorist, the US State Department told reporters on November 7. Explicitly detailing the US operation against Baghdadi, US President Donald Trump said that the world's most dangerous terrorist died "like a coward." He claimed that Baghdadi died in his Syrian compound, in a tunnel "whimpering, crying and screaming."
Erdogan's visit came almost a month after Donald Trump decided to pull out US troops from Syria-Turkey border, leaving allies--the Syrian Kurds stranded to fight ISIS on one hand and Turkish military on another. Instead of holding his Turkish counterpart accountable over Turkey's incursion, in contrast, Trump expressed admiration for Erdogan, even went ahead to claim that he has "a great relationship with the Kurds."
"Many Kurds live currently in Turkey, and they’re happy and taken care of," Trump added. The ethnic group, Syrian Kurds, living in Turkey have demanded an independent country called Kurdistan from Turkey or have sought autonomy and greater political, cultural rights. Erdogan has launched a crackdown against Kurdish politicians in Turkey.
"We've been friends for a long time, almost from day one. We understand each others' country," Trump said. Meanwhile, the Turkish President, during the meeting in the Oval House reportedly showed a propaganda video against the Syrian Kurds on his iPad.