The leader of the terror group ISIS was killed in northern Syria over the weekend, Turkish officials claimed Sunday.
Abu Hussein al-Qurashi was killed during a Turkish intelligence operation, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced. Syrian sources reported a raid took place in the town of Jindires, with clashes continuing from late Saturday night into Sunday, according to Reuters.
Islamic State leader killed in Syria by Turkish intelligence services, Erdogan says https://t.co/PbMOR16gcJ pic.twitter.com/A1z2rq08Rp
— Reuters (@Reuters) April 30, 2023
Jindires is controlled by rebel groups backed by Turkey. It was among the hardest-hit towns in Turkey and Syria by February’s earthquake which killed tens of thousands of people in both countries.
Turkish security forces encircled an area of the town after a large explosion early Sunday, Reuters reported. The Syrian National Army, an opposition force with a heavy presence in the area, has not issued a comment on the Turkish claims.
Al-Qurashi was made the leader of ISIS in November after his predecessor, Abu al-Hassan al-Hashemi al-Quraishi, was killed in southern Syria during a battle in which he detonated a suicide vest. (RELATED: ISIS Women Forced Boys As Young As 13 To Get Them Pregnant, Alleged Victims Claim)
ISIS’ influence in Syria has drastically waned since its peak in the mid-2010s after extensive efforts to contain the group by a U.S.-led coalition. Though the group still boasts thousands of militant members in the region, they are largely confined to hideouts in rural areas with a reduced capability to carry out major attacks.