Daesh confirms death of its leader, names successor

The Daesh terror group on Thursday confirmed the death of its leader Abu Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi, and named Abu Hafs al-Hashimi al-Quraishi as his replacement.

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

The announcement was made by a Daesh 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 stated in April that Turkish intelligence forces had killed the leader in Syria.

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

The extremist group’s austere and terror-ridden rule was marked by beheadings and mass shootings.

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.

In November last year, Daesh said its previous leader, Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, had been killed.

His predecessor, Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi, was killed in February last year in a US raid in Idlib province.

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

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