ISIS confirms death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, announces new leader


The Islamic State jihadist group confirmed the death of its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a statement Thursday and named his replacement as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Quraishi.

Kenneth McKenzie speaks at the Pentagon on October 30 as video of the raid against Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is shown.

The video shows United States forces approaching the compound and then destroying it after the raid.

Baghdadi died on October 26 by detonating a suicide vest as he fled into a dead-end tunnel as elite USA special forces closed in.

The group had prevously controlled vast swathes of land across Iraq and Syria, and left death and devastation in its wake.

The U.S. general who oversaw the raid on Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has provided the most detailed account yet of the operation.

H.A. Hellyer, senior associate fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for global peace, said the group, also known as ISIS or Daesh, would have picked the name Quraishi for Baghdadi's successor to suggest ancestry from the Prophet Mohammad's tribe.

The group confirmed his dying in an audio tape posted on-line and mentioned a successor, recognized as Abu Ibrahim al-Hashemi al-Quraishi, had been appointed.

"It looks pretty much like a parking lot with large potholes right now", General Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, said.

President Trump has apparently declassified the name of the hero dog involved in the raid that ended in the death of ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

McKenzie said the Pentagon believed Baghdadi was in hiding in Idlib "to avoid the intense pressure" that US and Syrian Kurdish forces had put on the group elsewhere.

IS did not provide many details about the new leader or release a photo, but it did describe him as a "prominent figure in jihad".

But he fled into a tunnel and detonated a suicide vest, killing himself and two children he had taken with him.

Notably, the self-styled Caliph, who was in his late 40s and carried a bounty of at least $25 million, presided over the brutal caliphate he set up in Syria and Iraq enforcing a fundamentalist code and killing thousands. After the raid, the compound was destroyed by the troops, the grainy video showed.

The ministry questioned the very possibility of al-Baghdadi's presence in Idlib as the area is held by Al-Qaeda offshoot, Jabhat al-Nusra, who have always been mortal enemies of Islamic State.

Islamic State has resorted to occasional guerrilla attacks since losing its last significant piece of territory in Syria in March this year.

The group maintains an active guerilla force in Iraq and Syria.