ISIS reveals its most recent leader has been killed ‘in combat with enemies of God’
The leader of ISIS has been killed in battle just eight months after he was named as caliph of the Islamist terror group.
Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, from Iraq, was killed ‘in combat with enemies of God’ and a replacement has already been announced.
Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi has been killed, ISIS announced today
Speaking in an audio message, the spokesman identified the group’s new leader as Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi.
Qurashi refers to a tribe of the Prophet Mohammed, from whom ISIS leaders must claim descent.
Little is known of the leader who is taking control of the beleaguered terror group whose influence over the Middle East has waned in recent years.
After a meteoric rise in Iraq and Syria in 2014 that saw it conquer vast swathes of territory, ISIS 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 of the Sunni Muslim extremist group still carry out attacks in both countries and claim attacks elsewhere in the world.
ISIS’s previous leader, Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi, was killed earlier this year in a US raid in Idlib province in northern Syria.
He had led ISIS from 2019 and was an ethnic Turkmen from the Iraqi city of Tal Afar.
The terror leader blew himself up in early February during a US raid in northwest Syria, according to Washington, in an area controlled by rival jihadists.
ISIS enjoyed a meteoric rise in Iraq and Syria in 2014 that saw it conquer vast swathes of territory
His predecessor Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed, also in Idlib in a US raid, in October 2019.
New leader Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi comes to the helm as ISIS has been weakened by US-backed operations in Iraq and Syria aiming to thwart a jihadist resurgence.
The remnants of ISIS in Syria mostly went to their desert hideouts from which they continue to harass Kurdish-led forces and Syrian government troops.
A UN report last year estimated that around 10,000 IS fighters remained active across Iraq and Syria.