ISIS’s news agency, Amaq, reported on Tuesday (30/08) that their spokesman and second-in-command Abu Mohammed al-Adnani was killed “while surveying the operations to repel the military campaigns against Aleppo”. The death of Adnani, who was the more public figure within the organisation, is a big blow for ISIS.
The death of such a high-profile and public figure could not have come at a worse time for the organisation, especially given ISIS’s lost ground in Iraq, Syria and Libya. Furthermore, Adnani’s death, coupled with the deaths of other high-profile figures such as al-Afri (March), Shishani (July), and al-Iraqi (August), highlights a potential power struggle that might emanate within the group following the lack of high-ranking leaders left in Iraq and Syria.
Moreover, what does this mean for Baghdadi and his ability to retain power within the group? Adnani was considered as Baghdadi’s closest confident, who he would often turn to for advice. With his advisor and other key figures out of the picture, will this force Baghdadi to make a public appearance, something that he is often reluctant to do?
Al-Aan analyses these issues and other problems facing the group in the following report.