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Saudi-led coalition claims capture of senior Islamic State Yemen figure

Saudi and Yemeni special forces captured a senior leader of the Islamic State affiliate in Yemen, the Saudi-led military coalition backing the Yemeni government said on Tuesday, June 25.

The ISIS leader, named as Abu Osama al-Muhajir, was captured in an operation early on June 3, Coalition spokesperson Turki Al Malaki said.

“Other elements of the terrorist group” including a financier, were captured in an operation around 9:20 a.m. on June 3, Al Malaki said. Three women and three children were also recovered from the house, he added.

The spokesperson said no civilians were injured in the operation.

Yemeni officials and CJTF-OIR, the U.S. operation against ISIS, did not immediately reply to requests for more information. Saudi Arabia is a member of the Global Coalition Against ISIS led by the United States.

The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Al-Muhajir, also known as Abu Sulayman al Adani, in 2017, listing his nationality as Jordanian. The Office of Foreign Assets Control said at the time he was “the overall head of ISIS-Y” as of 2017. According to OFAC, al-Adani was appointed by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2013. ISIS did not announce a Yemen affiliate until 2014.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in support of the Yemeni government in 2015 when President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi fled into Saudi exile as Houthi rebels closed in on his last remaining territory.

Yemen’s civil war has killed tens of thousands of people and sparked what the United Nations describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

With reporting from AFP

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