Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), was killed in battle, the Associated Press reported today.
He was reportedly killed while either practicing or fighting. The exact details and statement are not clear as of publishing this article. No official states have claimed the responsibility for this death.
DEVELOPING: #ISIS has announced the death of its leader Abu al-Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi on Telegram, saying he died while fighting.
Group announces its new leader is Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi
— Jeff Seldin (@jseldin) November 30, 2022
The U.S. military had claimed earlier that the leader was killed in sometime mid-October as a result of an operation of the Syrian rebels. But it is unclear why the group did not disclose the news and took almost a month to announce his death.
“I announce and mourn for the Islamic state and the fighters of almighty Islamic state, (the absence) of the Amir of believers and the Calipha of the Muslims Abu al-Hasan al-Hashmi al-Qurayshi … he was killed while struggling against the enemies of God,” a spokesman for the group said in a statement released on Wednesday.
The group also announced its new leader and named Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi as the official successor. He is known to be an “old fighter” as per the group’s description.
This death marks the second high-profile ISIS death this year. Al-Qurayshi’s predecessor, Abu Ibrahim Al-Hashimi Al-Qurayshi was just killed back in February as a result of a raid conducted by U.S. forces.
“ISIS remains a threat to the region,” the U.S. Central Command said on Wednesday. “CENTCOM and our partners remain focused on the enduring defeat of ISIS.”
The news initially broke last month from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It was reported that a group of Syrian rebels, in a collaboration with their government, attacked and killed a group of ISIS fighters in the south of the country.
The group was fairly quiet and unstable after the death of its founder, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi who was killed back in late October 2018 as a result of an operation conducted by the U.S. Special Operations Forces.
What do you make of the death of Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi? Share your thoughts in our Facebook comments!
H/T: Syrian Observatory for Human Rights