Islamic State (ISIS) has confirmed the death of leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and announced his replacement in a voice statement published on Thursday night.
New ISIS spokesperson Abu Hamza al-Qurashi confirmed the death of Baghdadi and his senior assistant Abu Hassan al-Muhajir in the statement, published by ISIS-affiliated outlet al-Furqan.
“The new ISIS leader now is Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi,” the spokesperson said.
“We call on all jihadists around the world to follow our jihadi brother and the caliph [leader] Abu Ibrahim Al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, as he was the one who has shown Christians of America very dark and desperate days,” he added.
The statement comes after US Special Forces, in close cooperation with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), killed Baghdadi in a raid on his compound to the northern Syrian town of Idlib in the early hours of Sunday morning.