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ISIS confirms its leader was killed in Syria, names new chief


IS confirms its leader was killed in Syria, names new chief

BEIRUT (AP) — The Islamic State group confirmed for the first time on Thursday that its leader was killed in a U.S. strike in northwestern Syria last month and named his successor.

It was the first official comment from the militant group about its leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi since U.S. officials said he blew himself up along with members of his family as American forces raided his hideout in the northwestern Syrian town of Atmeh, near the border with Turkey, on Feb. 3.

In an audio message released Thursday, IS spokesman Abu Omar al-Muhajer confirmed the death of the leader, as well as that of the group’s former spokesman, Abu Hamza al-Qurayshi, in the raid.

Al-Muhajer also said that IS has named a successor to the former leader, identifying him as Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi and saying the late IS chief has chosen him as the next caliph.

There was no immediate information about the new leader and it wasn’t known whether he is Iraqi like his two predecessors, both killed in rebel-held parts of Syria.

Full story https://apnews.com/article/islamic-state-group-abu-omar-abu-hamza-europe-turkey-097c0d708d4046eeb9a84d95f0edc8e1

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