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Syrian Democratic Forces capture IS 'health minister' in special operation Open in fullscreen

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Syrian Democratic Forces capture IS 'health minister' in special operation

ISIS had set up its own health office [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 April, 2020

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Fighters from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have captured the self-styled health minister of the Islamic State extremist group in Syria’s northeastern Hasakeh province.
Fighters from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have captured the health minister of the extremist Islamic State (IS) group in northeastern Syria.

In a special operation on Wednesday, the SDF's counter-terrorism units, supported by the anti-IS international coalition, captured Mohammed Rashed Dhiab in the town of Shaddadi, sixty kilometres south of Al-Hasakeh, according to the North Press Agency.

Dhiab was styled as the "Emir of the Health Diwan" or "Commander of the Health Bureau" of IS.

Read more: New IS leader's identity revealed as scholar who led Yazidi genocide

North Press Agency said it had obtained a video of his capture, in which he offered no resistance.

The self-styled Caliph of IS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a US operation last October. However, there has been an increase in IS activity in eastern Syria recently.

On Thursday, the extremist group captured a military outpost from the Syrian regime near the town of Sukhna in the Syrian Desert.

From its inception, IS has characterised itself as a "state" with a government and public institutions, rather than a militant group, despite being unanimously rejected by the international community.

IS's health officials recently offered advice on how to deal with the coronavirus crisis. Some of this advice was similar to that of other health authorities, emphasising hand-washing and social distancing.

But the extremist group also stressed that the virus had emerged "at the command and decree of God" and only He could decide who avoided or caught it, telling its followers to "put your faith in God and seek refuge in him".

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