Syria says the man killed in October was the leader of Daesh
Syria says the man killed in October was the leader of Daesh

Damascus: A Daesh commander killed in Syria in October was the organisation's overall leader, according to a Syrian security source, pro-government media reported on Friday.

The operation, which resulted in the death of Daesh leader Abu Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qureshi, was attributed to the army and local organizations by a source cited by the SANA news agency.

On Wednesday, Daesh announced a replacement to lead its remaining sleeper cells and claimed he had been killed in battle. Al-Hashimi was reportedly killed in an operation by Syrian fighters in the southern province of Daraa in mid-October, according to the US military's Central Command, which claimed the US provided no support.

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In mid-October, Damascus announced it had joined forces with former rebels from the province to launch an operation against Daesh.

According to Sana'a, Abu Abdel Rahman al-Iraqi was one of the extremists killed at the time. Al-Hashimi, according to the security source, "is the same person known as Abdel Rahman al-Iraqi."

On 15 October, the "Syrian Army together with local groups" launched a security operation in the town of Jasem, during which he was "killed", according to a security source.

Syria's Daraa province served as the birthplace of the rebellion in 2011, but was recaptured by the regime in 2018 thanks to a ceasefire agreement backed by Russia, a government ally. Light weapons were given to keep the fighters.

Daesh militants have also claimed attacks there, and the province has experienced years of security chaos, including killings and clashes.

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According to a fighter who took part in the operation, there was an "exchange of information" between the rebels and the regime "to identify houses where jihadists were hiding".

"Nobody told us the Daesh chief was among them," the fighter said. He added that Abu Abdel Rahman al-Iraqi was one of the jihadists killed in the war.

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According to Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Iraqi blew himself up at a house where he had been hiding after family members abandoned the structure.

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