The Pentagon announced Tuesday that a US airstrike had killed a Syrian ‘senior al-Qaeda leader’ near Sarmada in Idlib province.
Last Friday, a Syrian ‘senior al-Qaeda leader’, Egyptian Abu Afghan al-Masri, was killed by an US airstrike near Sarmada in the province of Idlib, spokesman for the Pentagon, Peter Cook, said on Tuesday. Some Arabic-language news agencies also reported about the news last week.
According to Cook, al-Masri joined al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and then moved to Syria, where he was a religious judge in Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (previously known as the al-Nusra Front) terrorist group until its formal break with al-Qaeda in July of this year.
“He had ties to terrorist groups operating throughout southwest Asia including groups responsible for attacking US and coalition forces in Afghanistan and those plotting to attack the West,” the spokesman told journalists.
Reportedly, the airstrike was the latest in the US ‘program of targeted killings’ in Iraq and Syria. Earlier this month, the US Defense Department announced that on October 17, Haydar Kirkan, a member of al-Qaeda, who allegedly was close to the late Osama bin Laden, also was killed by the coalition’s air power.
In October, it was reported that a senior leader of the al-Nusra Front, Egyptian Ahmed Salama Mabrouk, also known as Abu Faraj, was killed by a US airstrike near Idlib.