October 27, 2020

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US targets alleged al Nusrah leader in Syria

US targets alleged al Nusrah leader in Syria

WASHINGTON (AA) – A U.S. airstrike has targeted an alleged senior militant leader in northwest Syria, the Pentagon said Monday.
Peter Cook said the strike Sunday occurred in a location where several militants were believed to have been killed.
“We assess that al-Qaeda’s senior leader Abu Firas al Suri was in that meeting and we are working to confirm his death,” added Cook, who took care not to designate Suri as leader of al-Nusrah Front — a rebel group the U.S. considers an al-Qaida affiliate.
Cook sought to evade several questions on whether the strike implicates al-Nusrah leaders and its members as legitimate targets for the U.S.
“We consider al-Qaeda members in Syria to be legitimate targets, and that was the focus of this strike,” he said.
“Al-Nusra has been an affiliate of al-Qaeda, and so to the extent that there’s a distinction there.” Cook also declined to give the exact location of the strike but local sources told Anadolu Agency that the group was targeted in Kafer Calis village, in Idlib province.
Al Suri is a Syrian national and a longtime al-Qaeda member, dating to his fighting for the group in Afghanistan in the 1980s and 1990s.
He worked with Osama bin Laden and other founding al-Qaeda members to train fighters and conduct global attacks, according to the Pentagon.
He is believed to have joined Daesh in 2013.