The Islamic State group announced on Thursday the death in Syria of its little-known leader, Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurayshi, who headed the extremist organization since November, and named his successor.
The group did not say when al-Qurayshi was killed but added that he died in fighting with an al-Qaida-linked group. IS spokesman Abu Huthaifa al-Ansari said that Abu Hafs al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi was named as the group’s new leader.
Al-Qurayshi was the fourth IS leader to be killed since the group was founded by Iraqi militant Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and declared a caliphate in large parts of Syria and Iraq in June 2014 before its defeat years later.
The spokesman, al-Ansari, said in an audio message that al-Qurayshi “was martyred” in rebel-held northwestern Syria by members of Syria’s al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham when they tried to detain him in the province of Idlib.
“He fought them until he succumbed to his wounds,” al-Ansari said of al-Qurayshi, adding that the al-Qaida-linked group detained some IS members who were with the late leader, including Abu Omar al-Muhajir, another spokesman, and that they are still being held.