ISTANBUL, Turkey — The suspected leader of the Islamic State group has been killed in Syria in an operation carried out by Turkey’s MIT intelligence agency, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday.
“The suspected leader of Daesh, codename Abu Hussein al-Qurashi, has been neutralized in an operation carried out yesterday (Saturday) by the MIT in Syria,” he announced on television.
The Islamic State group announced the death of its previous leader, Abu Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, on November 30, replacing him with Abu Hussein al-Qurashi.
An AFP correspondent in northern Syria said Turkish intelligence agents and local military police, backed by Turkey had on Saturday sealed off a zone in Jindires, in the northwest region of Afrine.
Residents told AFP that an operation had targeted an abandoned farm that was being used as an Islamic school.
The United States carried out a helicopter raid in northern Syria in an operation in mid-April, saying the Islamic State group had been planning attacks in Europe and the Middle East.
US Central Command said they had killed a senior leader of the IS group in the operation.
Despite having been driven out of much of the territory it once controlled, the Islamic State group still launches attacks in Syria.