The anti-terrorist operation was carried out by the Turkish intelligence agency, President Erdogan announced
Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) leader Abu Hussein al-Qurashi is believed to have been killed in an operation by Türkiye’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) in Syria, becoming the third self-proclaimed terrorist group “caliph” to be eliminated in the last 15 months.
MIT agents were tracking al-Qurashi “for a long time” And “neutralized” him on Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview broadcast on Sunday by the TRT Turk television channel.
“We will continue our fight against terrorist organizations without any discrimination,” he said.
The operation was reportedly carried out around 1 a.m. Saturday in a village near Jindires, about seven kilometers (four miles) from the Turkish border. Turkish forces surrounded a compound where al-Qurashi allegedly stayed and fought with IS fighters. The caliph refused to surrender, then detonated explosives that had been attached to his body.
Al-Qurashi became the terror group’s fourth leader last November after his predecessor, Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, was killed in action. US military officials said the previous al-Qurashi was killed in mid-October by Syrian rebels in southern Syria’s Daraa province. He had only been in the post for about eight months, taking the helm after his predecessor Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi killed himself, his wife and children, in a raid in northern Syria by forces. American specials.
Although Türkiye’s counter-terrorism operations have largely focused on Kurdish militant groups, including the PKK, the Islamic State has also been a thorn in Ankara’s side, killing a total of 315 civilians in dozens of attacks. US-allied Syrian rebels accused Turkey last year of giving IS a “safe area” in northern Syria. Turkish officials dismissed the claim because “completely ridiculous”. Turkey was one of the first countries to identify Islamic State, then known as ISIS, as a terrorist organization in 2013, and has been fighting the group for years.
This weekend’s MIT operation comes just two weeks before Türkiye’s presidential election. Erdogan will seek re-election in a battle with pro-Western opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu. Polls show the race is currently tied.