MONITORING (SW) – The ISIL (ISIS) armed group has announced that its leader Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi has been killed in battle.
A spokesman for the group said on Wednesday that Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, an Iraqi, died “in combat”, without elaborating on the date or circumstances of his death. The spokesman, Abu Omar al-Muhajer, named its new leader as Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi.
The United States military’s CENTCOM said Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi had been killed in mid-October.
“This operation was conducted by The Free Syrian Army in Dar’a [Deraa] province in Syria. ISIS remains a threat to the region. CENTCOM and our partners remain focused on the enduring defeat of ISIS,” CENTCOM spokesman Colonel Joe Buccino said in a statement.
Syrian fighters involved in the clash told Reuters that Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi had blown himself up after he and his aides were surrounded by local fighters in the town of Jasem.
Quraishi and his aides had been discovered in a secret hideout in a house, said the sources, who included FSA fighters, relatives of comrades who died in the clash and residents of Jasem.
“The leader and a companion blew themselves up with suicide belts after our fighters succeeded in storming their hideout,” said Salem al Horani, a resident of Jasem and former fighter who participated in the siege of the three houses where the ISIL cell was discovered.
Deraa is currently under the control of the Syrian government, after a reconciliation deal in 2018 with opposition forces in the area that allowed them to keep light weapons.