The Islamic State armed group announces the death of its leader and names a successor
Americans refuse to say if they were involved in the death of the IS leader.
The Islamic State (IS) armed group, which had established a regime of terror in Iraq and Syria before being defeated, announced on Wednesday the death of its leader, killed in action, and the appointment of a successor.
In an audio message, the group's spokesperson said that Abu Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurachi, an Iraqi, died fighting the enemies of God, without further details of the place, date or circumstances of his death.
The U.S. Middle East Military Command (CENTCOM) said he was killed in mid-October in Syria's southern Daraa province by the Free Syrian Army, a joint force. groups described as rebels by Washington.
The province of Daraa is mainly controlled by Syrian government forces and rebels who have concluded agreements with the regime. In mid-October, Damascus announced that it had launched a joint operation against ISIS with local fighters in the south of this province.
We welcome the announcement that another ISIS leader is no longer treading the earth, US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.
This death is a further blow to the terrorist organization. It cannot, however, lead to minimizing the persistent threat it poses in Iraq and Syria, as well as in many other regions of the globe, said the French Foreign Ministry.
The IS spokesman also announced that a new Caliph of Muslims, Abu Al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurachi, had been appointed. This is the fourth leader of the jihadist organization, the previous three having been killed.
He also gave no indication of the new leader of the group, who has the same last name as his predecessor. Al-Qurachi refers to the tribe of the Prophet Muhammad, from whom the self-proclaimed caliph must be a descendant.
According to the spokesman, the new caliph is among the former mujahideen (fighters of the faith) of the group.
White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre declined to comment on possible US involvement in the operation that led to the death of the jihadist leader .
We are happy to see the departures of IS leaders in such a rapid manner, she told reporters. The United States remains committed to countering the global threat created by ISIS and stands ready to work with international partners, she added.
After a meteoric rise in power in 2014 in Iraq and Syria and the conquest of vast territories, the IS saw its self-proclaimed caliphate overthrown under the blow of successive offensives, in 2017 in Iraq and in 2019 in Syria.
Despite the loss of its strongholds in these two countries, the group continues to claim attacks there through sleeper cells.
The organization has also extended its influence to other regions of the world such as the Sahel zone, Nigeria, Yemen and Afghanistan, where it claims regular attacks.
Thousands of suspected jihadists captured at the time of the group's defeat are being held in Iraq and Syria.
The Sunni jihadist group had established a regime of terror in the regions under its control in Syria and Iraq, imposing strict application of Islamic law and carrying out numerous abuses, some of which were staged in unbearable videos, which have become a propaganda weapon.
He had persecuted minorities, including the Yazidis in Iraq, the UN accusing him of genocide against them.
ISIS's first leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Qurachi was killed in a 2019 US raid in Syria and his successor Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al- Hachimi al-Qurachi, was eliminated last February in an operation by American special forces in the northwest of this country.
The United States continued to target second-tier leaders of the organization thereafter. In July, they announced that they had killed the leader of the IS group for Syria in a drone strike in the northwest of this country.
Death of Al-Baghdadi : Islamic State weakened, but not defeated