ANKARA (Dispatches) – Turkish security forces have detained at least 13 relatives of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the recently killed ringleader of the Daesh terrorist group, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced.
"Al-Baghdadi’s close circle is paying a lot of attention to our country. We recently captured his sister’s husband and their child in [Syria's] Azaz, and sent them to migration camps. Let's see what decision our Ministry of Justice will make. His wife has been in our hands for 1-1.5 years. It will be the same process. The number of [al-Baghdadi’s relatives detained by Turkey] is already in the double digits", Erdogan told reporters.
He added that together with the wife of the killed Daesh ringleader, a child, whose kinship to al-Baghdadi was proved by DNA analysis, had been detained.
Later, he specified the exact number of al-Baghdadi's associates and relatives apprehended by the country's security forces.
"We now have 13 people from his inner circle", the Turkish president said.
The statement comes after another presidential comment that Turkish security forces detained the wife of the killed Daesh leader. Prior to that, Turkish authorities captured al-Baghdadi's older sister and her family.
Al-Baghdadi was reportedly killed in an operation in Syria's Idlib.
The Russian Defense Ministry's spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, said that Russia did not have reliable information that the U.S. military had actually killed al-Baghdadi. The Daesh terrorist group reportedly confirmed the death of its leader on 31 October and gave the new leader’s name as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi.