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.
— 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.