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US-backed Syrian fighters say they hold Daesh leader's assistant

US forces and members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) patrol the Kurdish-held town of Al-Darbasiyah in northeastern Syria bordering Turkey on November 4, 2018 [DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images]
US forces and members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) patrol the Kurdish-held town of Al-Darbasiyah in northeastern Syria bordering Turkey on 4 November 2018 [DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images]

US-backed fighters in Syria have captured a senior Daesh leader who served as an assistant to the group's self-declared "caliph" Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, they said on Friday.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-led militia alliance that holds the quarter of Syria east of the Euphrates, detained Osama al-Awaid last week, it said in a statement.

SDF fighters have been attempting to take Daesh's last Syrian pocket of territory on the banks of the Euphrates near Iraq for weeks, in an offensive backed by US-led air strikes.

They captured Awaid in a special operation in a village in eastern Syria, the statement said, adding that he had been a senior security official for Daesh in the country.

More than a year after Daesh's physical "caliphate" collapsed in both Syria and Iraq under military attack, Baghdadi's whereabouts remains a mystery.

However, despite its loss of territory, the group has been able to launch guerrilla attacks in areas controlled by both the Syrian and Iraqi governments.

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IraqMiddle EastNewsSyria
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