Iraq News

SDF says captures foreign fighters 'daily'

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said Wednesday (February 6th) they were detaining foreign "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) fighters on a "daily basis", days after confirming the capture of German extremist Martin Lemke.

AFP reported Lemke's capture last week after speaking to two of his wives who said they had fled together from the group's final pocket of territory in eastern Syria.

ISIS is clinging to a tiny sliver of the large swathes of territory it once held and many residents are fleeing and turning themselves in ahead of a final offensive.

A spokesman for the SDF, Mustafa Bali, said ISIS fighters were hiding among the fleeing civilians.

"On a daily basis, we are arresting foreign ISIS fighters," he told AFP, declining to provide further details on Lemke's arrest.

The SDF has captured at least 50 foreign ISIS fighters over the past three weeks, Kurdish foreign affairs official Abdel Karim Omar told AFP on Wednesday.

The SDF announced Lemke's capture in a statement posted on their website on Monday.

It said two other extremists had also been captured, identifying them as Egyptian national Hussein Fardid and Saudi Arabian extremist Salem al-Shamrani.

The three were detained following "two special operations" on January 25th and February 1st, it added.

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