Turkey claims death of 3rd ISIS leader in 2 years
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Sunday that Turkey's MIT intelligence agency had "neutralized" the head of the Islamic State terrorist organization in Syria on Saturday. ISIS has not confirmed the death of Abu Hussein al-Qurayshi, who took over the group in November after his predecessor, Abu al-Hassan al-Hashemi al-Qurayshi, was killed in October by the Free Syrian Army rebel coalition, according to the U.S.
The ISIS leader before that, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, killed himself and his family as U.S. forces surrounded him in February 2022. ISIS founding caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died in a 2019 U.S. raid.
Erdogan said Turkish intelligence had been following Qurayshi for a "long time," adding, "We will continue our struggle with terrorist organizations without any discrimination." ISIS is believed to have 6,000 to 10,000 fighters in Syria and Iraq, and it remains a threat in Syria and in regions where its affiliates are active, including Afghanistan and Somalia, BBC News reports. But it is a shadow of the terrorist organization that controlled 34,000 square miles in Syria and Iraq.