14 jihadists killed in US drone strike in Syria

US Army says it carried out a drone strike against Al-Qaeda leaders in northwest Syria. Monitor says 14 jihadists killed.

Elad Benari ,

Drone (illustration)
Drone (illustration)
iStock

The US Army said on Thursday it carried out a drone strike against Al-Qaeda leaders in northwest Syria near the border, AFP reported.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 14 jihadists were killed in the strike, including five foreigners and six commanders.

"US Forces conducted a strike against a group of Al-Qaeda senior leaders meeting near Idlib, Syria," said Major Beth Riordan, the spokeswoman for United States Central Command (CENTCOM).

"The removal of these AQ-S leaders will disrupt the terrorist organization's ability to further plot and carry out global attacks threatening US citizens, our partners and innocent civilians," Riordan said in a statement.

She did not specify the number of deaths from the strike.

The British-based Observatory said the strike targeted a dinner meeting of jihadists in the village of Jakara in the area of Salqin.

The strike hit in Syria's last major rebel bastion of Idlib, which is dominated by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) group, a former Al-Qaeda affiliate.

Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said that five non-Syrian jihadists were among those killed, but their nationalities were not immediately known.

Three years ago, a drone strike led by the US-coalition killed the deputy leader of Al-Qaeda, Abu al-Khayr al-Masri.

That year, an American air strike killed another Al-Qaeda leader in northern Syria, Mohammad Habib Boussadoun al-Tunisi

A US-led coalition is present in eastern Syria, where its air strikes have backed Kurdish-led forces battling the Islamic State group.



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