Turkish intelligence agents have killed the leader of Islamic State (IS), Abu Hussein al-Qurashi, in Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Turkish broadcaster TRT on Sunday.
“He was neutralized yesterday as part of an operation by the Turkish national intelligence organization in Syria,” Erdogan said, adding that intelligence agents had been targeting him for some time.
An AFP correspondent in northern Syria reported on Sunday evening that Turkish intelligence agents and local military police had cordoned off a zone in the Syrian town of Jindires on Saturday. Residents in the area said that the action was aimed at an abandoned farm that was used as an Islamic school.
Al-Qurashi had only been the leader of IS since November 2022, when he succeeded Abu al-Hasan al-Hashimi al-Quraishi, who died in combat. The suffix al-Quraishi denotes descent from the Prophet Muhammad and is a standard part of the name given to IS leaders.
IS made a rapid advance in Syria and Iraq around 2014. The group claimed responsibility for numerous terrorist attacks, kidnappings and beheadings in the Middle East, Western Europe and the US. However, with Western support, Syria and Iraq succeeded in pushing back the terror group.
IS still controls small parts of both Syria and Iraq today, and still carries out sporadic attacks there. The terrorist group also has branches in North Africa and Afghanistan, among others. The Afghan branch of IS is fighting against the Taliban, who have been in charge there again since the summer of 2021.
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