ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) on Wednesday announced it had captured eight so-called Islamic State (IS) militants of American, Russian, Ukrainian, German, Kazakh, Tajik and Uzbek origin.
The YPG said it captured the IS members during operations conducted on Jan. 6 and 7.
“A group of terrorists of different nationalities that had been planning the mentioned attack was captured and put under long-term technical and physical surveillance by our relevant forces,” it added.
According to the YPG, the captured foreign IS fighters included: Adil Rahimov (Abu Amina Uzbeki), 58, Uzbekistan; Farhad Qaderov (Abu Bilal Uzbeki), 28, Uzbekistan; Mohammad Dawlat (Abu Moshab Tajiki), 22, Tajikistan; Askar Zarmanbetov (Abu Dawoud Nougha), 27, Ukraine; Sattibek Oshibaev (Abu Rouqaya), 30, Kazakhstan; Bimuraev Begjan (Abu Sara), 30, Russia.
The detained also included two IS fighters from Western countries: Soulay Noah Su (Abu Souleiman al-Amriki), 16, from the United States, and Lucas Glaß (Abu Ibrahim al-Almani), 31, from Germany.
On Dec. 30, the SDF had arrested five foreign nationals, including two Americans and one Irish citizen fighting with IS.
Among them was Warren Christopher Clark, a 34-year-old man from Houston who is said to have sent a resume and cover letter seeking a job with the extremist group, the New York Times reported.
The SDF detained another American, Zaid Abdul-Hamid. There were indications, however, that Hamid was from Trinidad and Tobago and joined the group in 2014, the New York Times said.
The SDF is expected to capture more prominent IS fighters during their operation “Jazeera Storm” in the last IS-held pocket in Deir al-Zor.
On Tuesday, the US-led coalition said they captured 99 percent of IS territory until now.
“The Coalition reclaimed more than 99 percent of ISIS’s previously held ground of more than 100,000 square kilometers,” it stated.
However, this does not mean the extremist group’s threat is over. Until now, IS still carries out sleeper cell attacks in areas like Raqqa and Deir al-Zor.
Kurdish news agency ANF reported in September that SDF commanders believe there are up to 7,000 IS members remaining in the last IS-held pocket, with most of them foreign-born.
Recent estimates from the coalition suggest there are still about 2,000 militants left in the last IS-pocket.
“Maybe the fight against IS on the military side is almost over. But there are still sleeper cells and IED problems,” SDF spokesperson Kino Gabriel told Kurdistan 24 in December. “I think the coalition needs to do more work.”
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany