Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi
This image made from video posted on Monday, April 29, 2019, purports to show the leader of the Daesh, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. Image Credit: Supplied

Cairo: Daesh confirmed on Thursday its leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi has been killed, the group’s news agency Amaq said in an audio tape following a US weekend raid.

Al Baghdadi, an Iraqi who rose from obscurity to declare himself “caliph” of all Muslims as the leader of Daesh, was killed by US special forces in northwestern Syria, President Donald Trump said on Sunday.

The group had been silent until now. As successor it appointed someone Amaq only identified as Abu Ebrahim Al Hashemi Al Quraishi.

Aymenn Al Tamimi, a researcher at Swansea University focused on Daesh, said the name was unknown but could be a top figure called Hajj Abdullah whom the US State Department had identified as a possible successor to Al Baghdadi “It could be someone we know, who perhaps has just assumed this new name,” said Al Tamimi.

The group, which controlled swathes of Iraq and Syria between 2014 and 2017 and carried out atrocities that horrified most Muslims, also confirmed the death of its spokesman Abu Al Hassan Al Muhajir.

Al Baghdadi was killed in Idlib in northwestern Syria.

US special forces carried out the Syrian operation in which Al Baghdadi killed himself and three of his children by detonating a suicide vest when he was cornered in a tunnel, according to US officials.