ISIS confirms Baghdadi’s death, names new leader

The Islamic State (ISIS) on Thursday confirmed the death of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, and announced Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi as the new leader of the jihadist organisation.

The new ISIS spokesman, Hamza al-Qurayshi, made the announcement in an audio statement distributed by the group's media arm, Al Furqan, Reuters news agency reported.

The group also confirmed the death of their former spokesman, Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, in a separate operation.

“We mourn you... commander of the faithful,” Qurayshi said in the statement referring to Baghdadi.

Baghdadi, the world’s most wanted terrorist, was killed on Saturday in a U.S. raid on a compound near the village of Barisha in northwest Syria.

Meanwhile, al-Muhajir, a figure marked as a possible successor to the slain leader of the ISIS, was killed on Sunday in a joint raid by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and U.S. forces in Turkey-controlled province of Jarablus.

ISIS, which once controlled a vast swath of territory in Iraq and Syria, has been largely defeated by the U.S.-led coalition spearheaded by Kurdish forces.

There is uncertainty surrounding the fate of tens of thousands of suspected ISIS fighters and their families held in Syrian camps, following the sudden withdrawal of U.S. forces from the Turkish-Syrian border last month.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-baghdadi-confirmation/islamic-state-confirms-baghdadi-is-dead-appoints-successor-idUSKBN1XA25A