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U.S.-backed Syrian fighters say they hold Islamic State leader's assistant

U.S.-backed Syrian fighters say they hold Islamic State leader's assistant

U.S.-backed fighters in Syria have captured a senior Islamic State 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 Islamic State’s last Syrian pocket of territory on the banks of the Euphrates near Iraq for weeks, in an offensive backed by U.S.-led air strikes.

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