Islamic State: 'Suspected leader' of IS group killed in Syria, says Turkey's Erdogan
Erdogan said that Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi had been "neutralised" during an operation led by Turkish intelligence services.
Speaking during an interview with TRT Turk state broadcaster, Erdogan added that the intelligence organisation had been following Qurashi for a long while.
"The suspected leader of Daesh, codename Abu Hussein al-Qurashi, has been neutralised in an operation carried out yesterday (Saturday) by the MIT in Syria," he announced on the state broadcaster, using an alternative Arabic acronym for the IS group.
Syrian local and security sources said the raid took place in the northern Syrian town of Jandaris, which is controlled by Turkey-backed rebel groups and was one of the worst-affected in the 6 February earthquake that hit both Turkey and Syria.
Other reports said the raid had taken place in nearby Jarabulus. Both are in the Aleppo Governorate.
The Syrian National Army, an opposition faction with a security presence in the area, did not immediately issue any comment.
One resident said clashes started on the edge of Jandaris overnight from Saturday into Sunday, lasting for about an hour before residents heard a large explosion.
The area was later encircled by security forces to prevent anyone from approaching the area.
IS selected al-Qurashi as its leader in November 2022 after the previous IS leader was killed in an operation in southern Syria.
Earlier this month, A US helicopter raid on northern Syria killed Abd-al-Hadi Mahmud al-Haji Ali, a senior IS group leader, the Pentagon said in a 17 April statement.
Two weeks before that, US forces killed Khalid 'Aydd Ahmad al-Jabouri, another senior IS group leader that the US said was responsible for planning attacks in Europe and Turkey.
The IS group once controlled one-third of Iraq and Syria at its peak in 2014. Though it was beaten back in both countries, its fighters continue to wage deadly attacks.