Iraqi security forces arrested a senior al-Qaeda leader and 20 terrorism suspects in Ninawa province, the Iraqi Ministry of Defence said Thursday (January 19th).
Maj. Gen. Mohammed al-Askari, official spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence, told Al-Shorfa that 250 Iraqi soldiers participated in raids in several areas of Ninawa early Thursday morning that continued until noon. He said the operations led to the arrest of Abu Walid al-Azzawi, a senior leader of al-Qaeda in Sinjar, north of Mosul.
Al-Askari said three suspects who were with al-Azzawi inside a residential building were also arrested. He said five individuals who were involved in various terrorist operations were arrested in Bartella, east of Mosul, and soldiers arrested 12 other suspects in Rabia, west of Mosul.
He said the operation was conducted based upon accurate intelligence, and the military force found large quantities of weapons and explosives.