The us has launched an airstrike to kill a key al-Qaeda leader in Syria, just days after it acknowledged that civilians were killed in drone strikes in Afghanistan instead of alleged terrorists.
The US Central Command said Monday it had targeted an al Qaeda leader in an airstrike near the Syrian city of Idlib, Jeff Seldon reported for VOA.
“The initial likelihood is that that we targeted the person we were targeting,” Central Command spokesman Lt. Jose Lane Lenny said during a statement.
He said there have been no reports of civilian casualties within the attack.
Pentagon officials have confirmed the attack but haven’t released further details.
On the opposite hand, the jihadi group said during a post on social media on Monday that two fighters of the al-Qaeda-linked group Haras-ud-Din had been killed within the attack.
According to the site’s intelligence group, the militant group said during a statement that the US military had killed Abu Hamza al-Yamini, a military commander, which another man, Abu al-Bara al-Tunisi, had been killed.
Observers say the attack is that the first regular US strike against al-Qaeda in Syria this year.
Charles Lester of the Washington-based Middle East Institute told VOA that the us has a powerful record of attacks against al Qaeda in northwestern Syria. Especially since mid-2019, when members of al Qaeda’s global leadership were targeted by US drones.
Lester said Haras al-Din was already under fire by his rival, Tahrir al-Sham, who had disassociated himself from al-Qaeda and hid its leader.
Monday’s airstrikes in Syria were the primary announced by US Central Command since August 29.
A US drone strike within the Afghan capital, Kabul, on August 29 killed 10 civilians, including aid volunteers and 7 children.
Military officials described the attack as a “serious mistake” and said that they had targeted the incorrect target after identifying the threats and had not killed the terrorists who planned to attack Kabul airport.