Islamic State leader killed in battle, spokesman says
Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, the leader of the Islamic State terror group, was killed in battle in mid-October, the Pentagon confirmed Wednesday.
Al-Qurayshi was “killed while struggling against the enemies’ of God,” Islamic State spokesman Abu Omar al-Muhajer said in an audio message released by the group’s media affiliate al-Furqan, according to The Associated Press.
The message did not say how the commander was killed or where, but the Pentagon in a separate statement said he died during an operation that “was conducted by The Free Syrian Army in Dar’a province in Syria.”
“The death of Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi in mid-October is another blow to ISIS,” U.S. Central Command Spokesman Col. Joe Buccino said in a brief statement.
“ISIS remains a threat to the region. CENTCOM and our partners remain focused on the enduring defeat of ISIS,” he added.
ISIS announced Abu al-Husain al-Husaini al-Quraish as its next leader, describing him as an “old fighter” with no additional details. Little is known about al-Quraish
Al-Qurayshi began leading the group after the U.S. killed his predecessor, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, in a February raid in Syria, and the more recent death marks the second Islamic State leader killed this year.
Updated at 3:38 p.m.