Abu Muslim al-Turkmani

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Abu Muslim al-Turkmani

Fadel Ahmed Abdullah al-Hiyali (died 18 August 2015), better known by his noms de guerre Abu Muslim al-Turkmani (Arabic: أبو مسلم التركماني‎), Haji Mutazz, or Abu Mutaz al-Qurashi, was the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) governor for territories held by the organization in Iraq. He was considered the ISIL second-in-command (along with his counterpart Abu Ali al-Anbari, who held a similar position in Syria); he played a political role of overseeing the local councils and a military role that includes directing operations against opponents of ISIL. His names were also spelt Fadhil Ahmad al-Hayali, and Hajji Mutazz.


An ethnic Turkmen born in Tal Afar, Nineveh Governorate, al-Hiyali was an Iraqi Army Colonel under Saddam Hussein. According to documents discovered in Iraq, al-Hiyali was a lieutenant colonel in the Iraqi military's intelligence unit Istikhbarat (Directorate of General Military Intelligence), who also spent time as a Special Forces officer in the Special Republican Guard right up until the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq. He also fought in the Gulf War prior to his dismissal from the Iraqi Army after US forces arrived, and later joined Sunni insurgents to fight the Americans. He was later made the deputy leader of ISIL in Iraq on 8 April 2013. Like other ISIL leaders, al-Turkmani spent time in a US prison in Iraq, specifically Camp Bucca. He once practiced a moderate form of Islam.

He oversaw ISIL-designated governors in various cities and regions of Iraq, including identified shadow governors in areas that ISIL did not control, but had aspirations over.[6]"I describe Baghdadi as a shepherd, and his deputies are the dogs who herd the sheep (ISIL members); the strength of the shepherd comes from his dogs." said Hisham al-Hashimi, a security analyst who had access to documents discovered which provided details on al-Hiyali.

In a June 2015 article in The New York Times, al-Turkmani was said to have been the head of ISIL’s military council. He reportedly led the council of six to nine military commanders who directed the terrorist group's military strategy, according to Laith Alkhouri, a senior analyst at Flashpoint Global Partners.

There were erroneous reports of his death in airstrikes on 7 November 2014 and again in December 2014. This was believed to have been due to a case of mistaken identity and his death was not confirmed by ISIL.

Al-Turkmani was killed by a US drone strike while travelling in a car near Mosul, Iraq on 18 August 2015. His death was confirmed by ISIL official spokesman and senior leader Abu Mohammad al-Adnani in an audio recording posted on jihadist websites in October 2015 .He was succeeded as the ISIL leader in Iraq by Abu Fatima al-Jaheishi.