ISIS confirms its leader was killed, does not provide details

A militant is seen holding the flag of ISIS in 2015.
A militant is seen holding the flag of ISIS in 2015. Pictures from History/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The Islamic State terrorist group confirmed the death of its leader on Wednesday and announced his replacement, CNN reported.

In a message from ISIS's media affiliate al-Furqan obtained by CNN, it was announced that Abu al-Hassan al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, who had served as the caliph of ISIS since March, had been killed in battle.

"He was killed while struggling against the enemies of God," an ISIS spokesperson said. No additional details on al-Qurayshi's death were released.

In his place, ISIS announced that a new leader, Abu al-Husain al-Husaini al-Quraishi, would take the reins of the terrorist group. Few details about al-Quraishi were released, but ISIS reportedly described him as an "old fighter."

In response to the report, National Security Council coordinator John Kirby said, "We certainly welcome the news of the death of another ISIS leader. I don't have any additional operational details to provide at this time." When asked if the White House had independently confirmed al-Qurayshi's death, Kirby said, "We're still working our way through that."

"We welcome the announcement that another leader from ISIS is no longer walking the face of the earth," Kirby added.

The death of al-Qurayshi marks the second ISIS leader to be killed this year after the previous caliph died during a U.S. raid in February.

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