Islamic State leader killed in battle, spokesman says

FILE – A fighter from the Christian Syriac militia that battles the Islamic State group under the banner of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, burns an IS flag on the front line on the western side of Raqqa, northeast Syria, July 17, 2017. The leader of the Islamic State group, Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, was killed in a battle recently, the group’s spokesman said in audio released Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, without giving further details. No one claimed responsibility for the killing. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, File)

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.

Tags Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi ISIS Islamic State

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