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IS reportedly names new leader after killing of Baghdadi

  • Published at 10:41 pm October 29th, 2019
Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
File photo of Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi AFP

The IS chief buried at sea by US military

A new leader for the Islamic State (IS) has been named following the killing of the group’s previous commander, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in a US special forces raid in northwest Syria, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported citing an Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National.

Late Sunday, Baghdadi's right-hand man and IS spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir, who The New York Times reported would be Baghdadi's likely successor, was also killed. 

According to The National, Abdullah Qardash, an Iraqi of Turkmen origin, had been named by Baghdadi as his successor in August. 

However, Newsweek reported that Qardash had only been appointed to run the Islamic State's "Muslim affairs," citing a statement attributed to IS-affiliated Amaq News Agency.

Although the details of the succession are unclear, Newsweek cited an unnamed regional intelligence official as saying that Qardash, a former Saddam Hussein-era military officer from Tal Afar near Mosul, was slated to take over Baghdadi's role before the killing of both leaders. 

Also on Monday, US officials have said the body of Baghdadi was buried at sea, as fresh details surfaced about the US special forces operation that led to his death over the weekend.

Syrian Kurds claimed to be a key source of the intelligence that led Americans to Baghdadi after years of tracking the man behind a five-year reign of terror across much of Iraq and Syria.

And an unnamed US military dog became an unlikely hero of the raid, incurring injuries as it chased Baghdadi down a dead-end tunnel underneath his north-western Syria hideout, where the jihadist blew himself and three children up with a suicide vest.