The U.S. military in Iraq has captured the deputy military chief of the Iranian-sponsored Hezbollah, coalition officials said.
Iraqi sources said the U.S. Army has arrested the No. 2 figure in Hezbollah’s military wing. The sources said the unidentified Hezbollah commander was responsible for training the Iranian-backed Mahdi Army in the Baghdad area.
“The arrest is a major achievement and could provide an intelligence bonanza,” an Iraqi source said.
The U.S.-led coalition has reported the capture of a senior Iranian operative south of Baghdad. In a coalition statement, the operative was described as a “primary weapons smuggler and financier for Iranian-backed enemy fighters.”
The arrest was said to have taken place on Thursday in Mahawil, south of Baghdad. The coalition statement said the target was a leader of the Iranian-sponsored Special Groups.
“Acting on intelligence information, coalition forces conducted a raid on the home of the suspected Special Groups leader in Mahawil, south of Baghdad,” the statement said on Thursday. “He surrendered without incident.”
The U.S. military also reported the arrest of another senior Iranian operative. The unidentified operative, captured east of Kut, was identified as a Special Groups member and “the primary weapons smuggler and financier for Iranian-backed enemy elements in that area.”
“The suspect and an associate surrendered when coalition forces stormed their location,” the statement said.