ISIS says its leader was killed in battle, names successor: The who, what, how

Mohammad Bilal
Mohammad BilalDec 01, 2022 | 14:06

ISIS says its leader was killed in battle, names successor: The who, what, how

Islamic State group announced their new successor Abu al-Husain al-Husaini al-Quraishi after acknowledging the death of his predecessor. Photo: AFP

The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, also known as ISIS, announced the successor of the group after acknowledging the death of its former leader Abu al-Hasan al-Hashmi al-Qurayshi, CNN reported. The slain leader was appointed in March 2022 after Joe Biden-led US government had killed their leader Abu Ibrahim al Hashmi al-Qurayshi in a military operation in northwest Syria on February 4, 2022.


What ISIS said: ISIS's media affiliate al-Furqan had published an audio message by an ISIS spokesman announcing the death of their leader, who was appointed in March.

"I announce and mourn for the Islamic State and the fighters of the almighty Islamic state,( the absence) of the Amir of believers  and the Calipha of Muslims Abu al-Hasan al-Hashmi al-Qurayshi..he was killed while struggling against the enemies of God,"spokesman Abu Omar al-Muhajer said in the message released on Wednesday (November 30).

An Iraqi counter-terrorism officer stands guard in Mosul. Photo: AFP

Who is Abu al-Husain al-Husaini al-Quraishi? Not much is known about al-Husaini al-Quraishi, and the group only said that he is an old fighter, without mentioning any further details.

How did al-Hashmi al-Quraishi die?

  • The US military's Central Command said that Hashmi was killed in an operation conducted by the rebels of Free Syrian Army in the Daraa province in Southern Syria in mid-October.
  • The Daraa province is controlled by the Syrian government forces and the rebels who have reached an understanding with the regime.
  • After the announcement by the ISIS on the new successor, US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said: "We welcome the announcement that another leader of ISIS is no longer walking the face of the earth," The Guardian reported.

What is ISIS and how it rose to power?

  • The group claims it descents from the Quraysh tribe. Quraysh is the tribe of Prophet Mohammad where he was born in Mecca.
  • The ISIS group saw a meteoric rise in 2014 in Iraq and Syria after which it conquered large number of territories.
  • The group was defeated in Iraq in 2017 and in Syria two years later. However, the sleeper cells of the Sunni Muslim extremist group still carry out attacks in both the countries.

The US attacks on ISIS:

  • The United States forces have been conducting regular strikes against the group to completely eliminate them.
  • In October 2019, their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in Idlib.
  • In February 4, 2022, the US in a airstrike took down Abu Ibrahim al Hashmi al-Qurayshi after the leader detonated a suicide bomb killing himself and his family members.
  • In October this year, the US forces killed a "senior" ISIS member in a pre-dawn raid in north-eastern Syria, the US military's Central Command said at the time.
  • In July 2022, the Pentagon said that it has killed Syria's top IS jihadist in a drone strike in the north of the country. The US Central Command had said he had been "one of the top five" ISIS leaders.
Last updated: December 01, 2022 | 14:06
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