Iraqi government forces have arrested a high-ranking commander of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group wanted for the June 2014 massacre of hundreds of military soldiers at an air force camp in the country’s central city of Tikrit.
The Directorate of General Military Intelligence, in a statement released on Thursday, announced that the terrorist, whose identity was not immediately available, was captured following an intelligence operation in al-Hadar district in the northern province of Nineveh.
The statement added that the Takfiri is among the most dangerous terrorists, who participated in the Camp Speicher massacre. He was a notorious arms trafficker as well.
On June 12, 2014, Daesh terrorists killed around 1,700 Iraqi air force recruits after kidnapping them from Camp Speicher, a former US base. There were reportedly around 4,000 unarmed cadets in the camp when it came under attack by Daesh.
Following the abductions, the attackers took the victims to Tikrit’s complex of presidential palaces and killed them. The terrorists also threw some of the bodies into a river.
The massacre was filmed by Daesh and broadcast on social media.
An investigation committee later revealed that 57 members of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’ath Party had aided Daesh terrorists in the massacre.
On August 21, 2016, Iraqi judiciary officials hanged 36 men convicted of involvement in the carnage.
Tikrit was recaptured from Daesh in March 2015. During clean-up operations in the northern part of the city, Iraqi forces found the location of the 2014 carnage.
Former Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi declared the end of military operations against Daesh in the country on December 9, 2017.
On July 10 that year, he had formally declared victory over Daesh in the strategic northern city of Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold in Iraq.
In the run-up to Mosul’s liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and voluntary fighters from the pro-government Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) – better known by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi – had made sweeping gains against Daesh.