Berliner Boersenzeitung - Death of IS chief: what we know

EUR -
AED 3.98675
AFN 78.669343
ALL 103.878093
AMD 440.841555
ANG 1.955653
AOA 899.292857
ARS 913.004115
AUD 1.658105
AWG 1.953772
AZN 1.804837
BAM 1.954672
BBD 2.190936
BDT 119.091279
BGN 1.955446
BHD 0.409107
BIF 3110.838548
BMD 1.085429
BND 1.457719
BOB 7.514595
BRL 5.356093
BSD 1.085074
BTN 89.890002
BWP 14.925975
BYN 3.551053
BYR 21274.401793
BZD 2.187147
CAD 1.46757
CDF 3006.092191
CHF 0.954646
CLF 0.038666
CLP 1067.138995
CNY 7.812955
COP 4267.938065
CRC 558.27271
CUC 1.085429
CUP 28.76386
CVE 110.714229
CZK 25.323539
DJF 192.902378
DKK 7.454442
DOP 63.741767
DZD 145.887063
EGP 33.531422
ERN 16.28143
ETB 61.549207
FJD 2.453181
FKP 0.855953
GBP 0.855328
GEL 2.876755
GGP 0.855953
GHS 13.64925
GIP 0.855953
GMD 73.701725
GNF 9331.972427
GTQ 8.469035
GYD 227.026905
HKD 8.493425
HNL 26.918218
HRK 7.630667
HTG 144.046879
HUF 391.059379
IDR 16997.487233
ILS 3.916542
IMP 0.855953
INR 89.946756
IQD 1421.911548
IRR 45634.13412
ISK 149.311593
JEP 0.855953
JMD 169.155377
JOD 0.769609
JPY 163.232733
KES 158.473268
KGS 97.070408
KHR 4426.378467
KMF 492.6217
KPW 976.879755
KRW 1445.378698
KWD 0.333964
KYD 0.904253
KZT 488.40792
LAK 22656.152215
LBP 97417.22262
LKR 336.991571
LRD 207.096443
LSL 20.992201
LTL 3.204989
LVL 0.656564
LYD 5.258911
MAD 10.92377
MDL 19.314677
MGA 4940.871156
MKD 61.618046
MMK 2278.690631
MNT 3693.471802
MOP 8.745673
MRU 43.308451
MUR 49.615182
MVR 16.713785
MWK 1826.629131
MXN 18.518499
MYR 5.185106
MZN 68.920901
NAD 20.992254
NGN 1706.152351
NIO 39.889642
NOK 11.4186
NPR 143.823683
NZD 1.758074
OMR 0.417833
PAB 1.085029
PEN 4.125698
PGK 4.043656
PHP 60.881149
PKR 300.305345
PLN 4.308174
PYG 7900.113784
QAR 3.951508
RON 4.967902
RSD 117.21216
RUB 99.745497
RWF 1389.348689
SAR 4.070845
SBD 9.179825
SCR 15.42363
SDG 652.34249
SEK 11.178206
SGD 1.458073
SHP 1.375727
SLE 24.429228
SLL 21437.215804
SOS 620.325418
SRD 38.31883
STD 22466.181851
SVC 9.494084
SYP 14112.525334
SZL 20.782146
THB 38.94733
TJS 11.892445
TMT 3.799
TND 3.386732
TOP 2.564379
TRY 33.80394
TTD 7.365682
TWD 34.303671
TZS 2767.843042
UAH 41.539508
UGX 4266.538032
USD 1.085429
UYU 42.403578
UZS 13584.139946
VEF 3909830.087979
VES 39.102283
VND 26739.535111
VUV 130.214794
WST 2.955692
XAF 655.560596
XAG 0.048203
XAU 0.000534
XCD 2.933426
XDR 0.817606
XOF 657.227489
XPF 119.331742
YER 271.73723
ZAR 20.697659
ZMK 9770.154831
ZMW 25.174241
ZWL 349.507587
  • RBGPF

    0.0000

    74.44

    0%

  • RYCEF

    -0.0250

    4.545

    -0.55%

  • CMSC

    -0.0280

    24.782

    -0.11%

  • BTI

    -0.1000

    30.12

    -0.33%

  • RELX

    -0.6000

    44.04

    -1.36%

  • NGG

    0.7200

    66.38

    +1.08%

  • AZN

    0.4000

    66.33

    +0.6%

  • SCS

    0.2800

    13.05

    +2.15%

  • RIO

    0.3300

    64.98

    +0.51%

  • GSK

    0.0400

    42.38

    +0.09%

  • SLAC

    0.0050

    10.305

    +0.05%

  • CMSD

    -0.0300

    24.67

    -0.12%

  • VOD

    0.3100

    8.78

    +3.53%

  • BP

    0.1000

    35.42

    +0.28%

  • BCC

    2.3700

    132.98

    +1.78%

  • BCE

    0.0400

    37.3

    +0.11%

  • JRI

    -0.0250

    11.41

    -0.22%

Death of IS chief: what we know
Death of IS chief: what we know

Death of IS chief: what we know

A day after the death of Islamic State leader Abu Ibrahim al-Qurashi during a US raid in Syria, many questions remain on the operation and the jihadist group's future.

Text size:

How was he located?

Qurashi was killed in the town of Atme during a nighttime airborne operation on his house.

US officials said his location had been narrowed down last year. The building's owner told AFP Qurashi had been living there for 11 months.

The raid came days after IS launched its biggest operation in years to spring fighters from a huge Kurdish-run prison in the northeastern city of Hasakeh.

"The timing of the operation suggests that there was intelligence linking Qurashi to the Ghwayran prison attack," said Nick Heras, an analyst at the Newlines Institute.

"It would not be surprising that the US put pressure on Turkey to relinquish information."

Turkey holds considerable sway over northwestern Syria and maintains a form of working relationship with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the jihadist that controls most of the Idlib area.

Large numbers of IS prisoners are thought to have broken out during the Hasakeh attack. Their subsequent trajectories and communications may have created intelligence opportunities.

"If Qurashi was planning to record a statement about the recent attacks, perhaps that created an opening," said Aron Lund, a fellow with Century International.

Iraq's prime minister on Thursday claimed credit for gathering the intelligence that led to one of the world's most wanted men.

How did he die?

According to the White House and US defence officials, Qurashi died when he detonated a bomb to avoid capture.

"He killed himself and his immediate family without fighting, even as we attempted to call for his surrender and offered him a path to survive," the head of US Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie, said.

The visible damage to the three-level house -- including burn marks and a collapsed part of the roof -- tend to confirm at least one explosion occurred inside the house.

Neighbours told AFP they heard explosions but US official statements are at this time the only version of what happened inside the house.

US Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Qurashi's fingerprint identification was done on site but did not explicitly say whether US forces had taken the body away or left it behind.

A photo purporting to show the slain IS leader's face that circulated on social media could not be authenticated by AFP and does not provide clear information as to how he died.

Who else was there?

US officials have said at least three civilians died during the raid, in addition to Qurashi and two others outside the house on whom the special forces returned fire.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said it had reports of 13 dead, 12 of them killed inside the house.

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said Qurashi had two wives, both of whom were killed in the raid, together with the IS leader's sister and her adult daughter.

He also said the bodies of four children were recovered, as well as two other incomplete bodies that may have been children's.

Save the Children said at least six children, including two infants, were killed during the raid.

Abdel Rahman said one of Qurashi's senior associates was also killed.

One of Qurashi's wounded children was treated by civil defence but then transferred to an unknown location by forces connected to HTS.

Why in Idlib?

Qurashi had been hiding in a town far from IS's area of operations and under the control of HTS, a rival jihadist group.

Yet analysts argue it is hardly surprising he was tracked down to an area far from IS's heartland, which covers the arid expanses straddling the Iraqi-Syria border between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

His predecessor Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was also killed in Idlib province, about 15 kilometres (nine miles) away, in October 2019.

"Idlib is a messy war zone full of displaced people, with little proper policing and no real state structures or record-keeping," said Lund.

Hassan Hassan, who authored a book on IS, said Idlib is safer for an IS leader than the regions in western Iraq or eastern Syria where anti-IS forces have acquired years of experience tracking down jihadists.

"It is a hostile area for IS because its rivals dominate that region of northern Syria, but it is precisely the right place to hide where nobody expects you to be there," he said.

Hassan, who is also a Newlines analyst, said close Qurashi aides had been running the group's operations and building businesses in the area for two years.

What next for IS?

The week-long attack on the Ghwayran prison IS launched two weeks earlier had raised fears of a resurgence, nearly three years after IS lost the last scraps of its "caliphate".

For Hassan, however, the prison attack was "not part of a strategic comeback, nor an indication of recovery".

"The group remains weak and exposed," he said, adding that Thursday's raid was further evidence of growing efficiency by the US and allied forces tasked with tracking down IS leaders.

Qurashi was largely invisible during his time at the helm but the group, which has not yet acknowledged his death, will nonetheless have to find a new "caliph".

Experts say there are few obvious names for a successor but that the next IS leader will most likely hail from the same area.

Qurashi was an ethnic Turkmen from the Iraqi city of Tal Afar who played a key role in the campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Yazidi minority in 2014.

(G.Gruner--BBZ)