Pentagon, ISIS Confirm Leader Qurayshi Killed in Syria’s Daraa Province

ISIS taps 'old fighter' Quraish as next leader

The Pentagon and a media outlet loyal to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)  have each confirmed the death of ISIS leader Abu Hassan Hashimi Qurayshi, who has been the leader of the Islamist faction for the past 10 months since his predecessor was slain.

An ISIS audio message described him as being slain “struggling against the enemies of God,” apparently in a battle in October in Daraa Province, fighting the Free Syrian Army (FSA).

Qurayshi’s death puts another hole in ISIS leadership, with Abu Husain Husaini Quraish, described as an “old fighter,” tapped to take over the leadership position.

It’s not clear how much direct responsibility an ISIS leader even has on day-to-day operations, but ISIS has lost multiple leader in the past several years and seems to continue more or less as they have been.

Centcom said the US goal is the enduring defeat of ISIS,  which was helped by Qurayshi’s death. The group has shown surprising resilience in trying to reemerge, particularly in Syria, but faces growing resistance from all around the country.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.