The leader of the Islamic State was killed in the battle, the group claimed.
Abu al Hassan al Hashimi al Qurayshi is the second IS leader to be killed this year, at a time when the extremist group is trying to re-emerge.
Its underground cells (smaller groups that are inactive until directed to act) have carried out deadly attacks in Iraq and Syria, and its branch in Afghanistan has also claimed responsibility for the attacks. attacks that have killed dozens of people in recent months.
“He died fighting God’s enemies, killing some of them before being killed like a man on the battlefield,” said IS spokesman Abu Omar al Muhajer.
The US military said al Qurayshi was killed in mid-October, adding that the operation was carried out by Syrian rebels in the southern province of Daraa.
It is not clear why the announcement was made on Wednesday – more than a month after al Qurayshi was killed.
“We certainly welcome the news of the death of another IS leader. I don’t have any additional operational details to provide at this time,” said John Kirby, Security Council coordinator. US National Security said.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war watchdog, reported in mid-October that Syrian rebels had killed a group of IS fighters in Daraa province.
They included a commander identified as an Iraqi citizen along with a Lebanese fighter and others, the observatory said.
It added that one of the IS fighters detonated an explosive belt he was wearing during the clash.
It is yet to be confirmed whether this was the attack in which al Qurayshi was killed.
Al Qurayshi is not his real name
Little is known about al Qurayshi, who took over the leadership of the following group the death of his predecessor, Abu Ibrahim al Hashimi al Qurayshiwho was killed in a US raid in February in northwestern Syria.
The two men are not believed to be related, al Qurayshi is not their real name.
Abu al Hussein al Husseini al Qurayshi has been announced as the group’s new leader.
The death marks a major blow to IS, which was defeated in Iraq in 2017 and in Syria two years later.
Al Qurayshi is the third leader to be killed since founder Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was hunted down by US forces in a raid in October 2019.