The Islamic State organization declared on Thursday that Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi, its leader, had passed away in fighting in northwest Syria.
An IS spokesman said in a recorded message on its channels on the Telegram messaging app that the commander “was killed after direct clashes” with the jihadist organization Hayat Tahrir al-Sham in the Idlib region. The statement did not indicate when the leader was killed.
The fifth leader of the organization, Abi Hafsan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, was named by the spokesperson.
Following its explosive ascent in 2014, during which it captured large areas of both Syria and Iraq, IS witnessed the downfall of its self-declared “caliphate” due to a series of offensives.
Mass shootings and beheadings were commonplace under the harsh and terror-filled administration of the Sunni Muslim extremist group. Although it was defeated in Syria two years later and in Iraq in 2017, sleeper cells continue to launch attacks in both nations.
IS claimed the death of its former commander, Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, in November of last year. Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi, his predecessor, was slain in a US operation in the province of Idlib in February of last year.
The first “caliph” of the group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was slain in October 2019 in Idlib as well.