ISIL announces death of its leader

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1 December 2022

The ISIL (ISIS) armed group has announced that its leader Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi has been killed in battle.

A spokesman for the group said on Wednesday that Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, an Iraqi, died “in combat”, without elaborating on the date or circumstances of his death. The spokesman, Abu Omar al-Muhajer, named its new leader as Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi.

The United States military’s CENTCOM said Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi had been killed in mid-October.

“This operation was conducted by The Free Syrian Army in Dar’a province in Syria. ISIS remains a threat to the region. CENTCOM and our partners remain focused on the enduring defeat of ISIS,” CENTCOM spokesman Colonel Joe Buccino said in a statement.

Little had been known about Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, who took over the group’s leadership following the death of Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi, his predecessor, in a US raid in February in northwest Syria’s Idlib province.

Al-Qurashi is believed to be a nom de guerre that various ISIL leaders have adopted.
The deaths of successive leaders mark a blow to the armed group, which a US-led coalition said it had defeated in Iraq in 2017 and in Syria two years later. But sleeper cells of the armed group still carry out attacks in both countries.

The ISIL group declared its so-called “caliphate” in 2014 after conquering vast swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria.

A US-led military coalition launched an operation dubbed “Inherent Resolve” in 2014 to get ISIL out of the areas it controlled.

Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi is the second ISIL leader to be killed since founder Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in Syria’s Idlib by the US in 2019.