Syrian regime takes credit for killing IS leader in October: state media
These claims could not be verified however.
Abu al-Hassan al-Hashemi al-Quraishi was killed in an operation carried out in the southern province of Daraa, according to those involved in the fighting as well as the U.S. military.
Daraa is where Syria's uprising first kicked off in 2011 before a deadly regime crackdown which later spiraled into the more than 11-year conflict.
It was both the first time the U.S.-led coalition was not involved in killing the top IS leader and the first time an IS leader was killed in Syria's south rather than the north, where a range of factions, some of them U.S.-backed, hold sway.
Daraa returned to Syrian regime control in 2018 following Russian-brokered reconciliation deals that saw rebels hand over heavy weapons and be incorporated into pro-government units.
In October, some of those fighters surrounded the house Quraishi was using as a hideout in the town of Jasem, according to former rebels involved in the clash, relatives of others who died in the fighting, and residents.
But on Friday, a security source in Daraa province told the state news agency SANA that the operation directly involved Syrian army troops as well as "local and civil groups" and resulted in his killing on October 15.
The Syrian Democratic Forces, a U.S.-backed alliance that has fought Islamic State in Syria's north and east, said on Thursday it was not involved in the operation. The Pentagon also said it was not involved.
(Reuters & The New Arab)