Pentagon confirms death of senior Nusra member

Pentagon confirms it had targeted the spokesman of Syria's Al-Qaeda branch.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Nusra Front rebels in Daraa, southern Syria
Nusra Front rebels in Daraa, southern Syria

The Pentagon on Monday confirmed it had targeted "senior" Al-Qaeda leader Abu Firas al-Suri and other jihadist fighters in an air strike in Syria, AFP reported.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said the military carried out the strike in northwestern Syria on Sunday, resulting in several enemy fighters being killed.

"We assess that Al-Qaeda senior leader Abu Firas al-Suri was in that meeting and we are working to confirm his death," Cook was quoted as having said.

He said al-Suri is a Syrian national and a "legacy" Al-Qaeda member who fought in Afghanistan in the late 1980s and 1990s.

He "worked with Osama bin Laden and other founding Al-Qaeda members to train terrorists and conduct attacks globally," Cook said.

He declined to comment on whether the strike was carried out by drones or manned warplanes.

Al-Suri was the spokesman for the Al-Nusra Front, which is Al-Qaeda’s branch in Syria.

A temporary ceasefire between Syrian government forces and rebels has largely held since February 27, but it does not cover Al-Nusra or the Islamic State (ISIS) group.

In fact, the head of Al-Nusra, Mohammad al-Jolani, called on the group’s members to reject the ceasefire and instead intensify attacks on the regime.

Al-Nusra Front and ISIS, in addition to fighting the so-called moderate rebels and the Syrian regime, have also at various times during the civil war fought each other.

Last November, Al-Nusra and ISIS temporarily agreed to work together.

AFP contributed to this report.