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Erdogan: Al-Baghdadi’s inner circle trying to enter Turkey

November 7, 2019
Undated handout photo made available by unnamed government sources showing a woman identified as Asma Fawzi Muhammad al-Qubaysi, a wife of the slain leader of the Islamic State group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Turkey has captured a wife of the slain leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday Nov. 6, 2019. A senior Turkish official said the woman was among a group of 11 Islamic State suspects detained in a police operation in Turkey's Hatay province, near the border with Syria, on June 2, 2018.(Handout via AP)
Undated handout photo made available by unnamed government sources showing a woman identified as Asma Fawzi Muhammad al-Qubaysi, a wife of the slain leader of the Islamic State group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Turkey has captured a wife of the slain leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday Nov. 6, 2019. A senior Turkish official said the woman was among a group of 11 Islamic State suspects detained in a police operation in Turkey's Hatay province, near the border with Syria, on June 2, 2018.(Handout via AP)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey’s president says members of slain Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s “inner circle” are trying to enter Turkey from Syria.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan also says the number of people with family ties to al-Baghdadi who’ve been caught by Turkey “is close to reaching double digits.”

Erdogan’s comments Thursday were his second effort in as many days to publicize Turkey’s push to catch IS members who were close to al-Baghdadi.

Turkey is facing criticism that its military offensive to drive Syrian Kurdish fighters from northeast Syria would allow for an IS resurgence.

Erdogan and Turkish officials revealed Wednesday that Turkish police detained one of al-Baghdadi’s wives and a daughter last year.

This week, Turkish authorities said they captured al-Baghdadi’s elder sister, her husband, daughter-in-law and five children in Syria.