US military confirms that another ISIS leader has been killed in Syria, revealing that he was taken out in a raid by local forces

US military confirms that another ISIS leader has been killed in Syria, revealing that he was taken out in a raid by local forces
Fighters from the Free Syrian Army are deployed on a checkpoint in the area of Kafr Jannah on the outskirts of the Syrian town of Afrin on October 19, 2022.Photo by OMAR HAJ KADOUR/AFP via Getty Images
  • The US military revealed on Wednesday that another ISIS leader was killed recently.
  • CENTCOM said in a statement that he was taken out in a Free Syrian Army raid in October.

The leader of ISIS was killed recently during a raid carried out by local Syrian forces in the southwest part of the country, the US military revealed on Wednesday.

"The death of Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi in mid-October is another blow to ISIS," said Col. Joe Buccino, a spokesperson for the US Central Command (CENTCOM), in a statement. "This operation was conducted by The Free Syrian Army in Dar'a province in Syria. ISIS remains a threat to the region. CENTCOM and our partners remain focused on the enduring defeat of ISIS."

Earlier on Wednesday, the Islamic State's media affiliate announced that the leader of the terror group had been killed fighting recently. The terror group didn't mention who killed al-Qurayshi — or where, according to multiple reports. It did, however, announce a successor.

The previous two Islamic State leaders before al-Qurayshi were taken off the battlefield in raids carried out by US special operations forces. In February, a counterterrorism operation in northwest Syria killed Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi — who was appointed to lead the terror group after the October 2019 death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi during a US raid.

Prior to the CENTCOM announcement, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby was asked about reports of the ISIS leader's death. "We're still working our way through that," he said, per Reuters. "We welcome the announcement that another leader of ISIS is no longer walking the face of the Earth."


Tensions have soared in Syria in recent weeks and the fight against ISIS faces potential setbacks following a deadly explosion that rocked Istanbul earlier this month, leading Turkey, a NATO ally, to blame the incident on Kurdish groups. In response, Turkey launched a series of strikes in northern Syria and Iraq targeting the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and threatened a possible ground invasion.

Because of this, the US said it has reduced the number of joint patrols its military undertakes with the SDF, which Washington has supported and worked closely with in the fight against the Islamic State.

"We do remain deeply concerned about the escalating actions in northern Syria, Iraq and Turkey. And so, we certainly urge restraint amidst the tensions in this region," Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters on Tuesday.

"And as you highlight," he continued, "the continued conflict, especially a ground invasion, would severely jeopardize the hard-fought gains that the world has achieved against ISIS, and would destabilize the region."

SDF commander Gen. Mazloum Kobane Abdi told Voice of America's Kurdish Service this week that "there is no doubt that Daesh will benefit more than anyone else from this Turkish offensive," using another name for ISIS. He added that actions by Turkey have led the SDF to suspend its operations against the terror group.