September 22, 2023

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Islamic State leader accused of ‘neutralization’ in Syria

The “suspected leader” of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group was “neutralized” in Syria on Saturday during an operation led by Turkish intelligence, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.

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During an interview with TRD Turk TV channel, the head of the Turkish government said that “the leader of Daesh, codenamed Abu Husayn al-Qurachi, was neutralized during an operation carried out by the MIT (Turkish secret services) in Syria yesterday.”

Mr. Erdogan said, without providing further details about the circumstances of the operation.

On November 30, it announced the death of its previous leader, Abu Hassan al-Hachimi al-Qurachi, without specifying the circumstances.

Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurachi was immediately appointed in his place, IS said.

According to an AFP correspondent in northern Syria, Turkey’s intelligence services and local military police backed by Turkey encircled the town of Zanderis, north of the town of Afrin region (north-east), about ten kilometers from the west on Saturday. Turkish border.

Residents who spoke to AFP said the operation targeted an abandoned farmhouse that once served as an Islamic school.

Turkey has been stationing troops in northern Syria since 2020 and controls entire areas through its Syrian proxies.

The U.S. military has carried out several strikes against IS leaders in Syria over the past few years.

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He announced in mid-April that he had “probably” killed in northern Syria the leader of a jihadist group planning attacks in Europe and the Middle East.

The US military’s Middle East Command (CENTCOM) has identified the senior IS leader in Syria as Abdel Hadi Mahmoud al-Haji Ali.

Despite losing ground in the region, IS is still carrying out attacks in Syria.

On April 16, 41 people, including 24 civilians, were killed in two attacks by the jihadi group against sand miners and herders in the country.

In early April, the US military announced it had killed an IS leader responsible for attacks in Europe, identified as Khaled Ayd Ahmad al-Jabouri.

IS has been responsible for several deadly attacks in Europe while controlling large swaths of Syria and Iraq.

In October 2019, Washington announced the death of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during a US operation. Two of his successors were killed in Syria in February and November 2022.