Daesh confirms the death of its leader Abu Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi

by Tasnim News

The ISIL (ISIS, or Daesh) terrorist group has confirmed the death of its leader, Abu Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi, and named Abu Hafs al-Hashimi al-Qurashi as his replacement.

The terrorist group said on Thursday that its leader had been killed in “direct clashes” with the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group in Idlib province in northwestern Syria.

The announcement was made by an ISIL spokesman in a recorded message on its channels on the Telegram messaging app, without specifying when he was killed.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in April that Turkish intelligence forces had killed the leader in Syria.

“The suspected leader of Daesh, codename Abu Hussein al-Qurashi, has been neutralized in an operation carried out… by the MIT (National Intelligence Organization) in Syria,” Erdogan said at the time, using the Arabic acronym for ISIL.

Turkish media released images of a fenced-off building in the middle of a field where it said he was hiding in Syria’s Afrin region.

Afrin lies in Aleppo province – neighboring Idlib – in an area controlled by Turkish-backed rebels, Al Jazeera reported.

However, the ISIL spokesman claimed on Thursday that Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which controls parts of Idlib province, had killed the group’s chief and handed his body to Turkey.

Turkey’s Anadolu state news agency said at the time that the MIT conducted a four-hour operation during which it located the ISIL leader.

The ISIL leader set off his suicide vest when he realized he was about to be captured, Anadolu said, adding that no Turkish operatives were killed or injured.

After a meteoric rise in Iraq and Syria in 2014 that saw it conquer vast swathes of territory, ISIL saw its self-proclaimed “caliphate” collapse under a wave of offensives.

It was defeated in Iraq in 2017 and in Syria two years later, but sleeper cells still carry out attacks in both countries.

Abu Hafs al-Hashimi al-Qurashi is the group’s fifth leader since its inception.

The group’s first leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed, also in Idlib, in October 2019.

Tasnim News
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