The United States military believes it killed seven senior al Qaeda leaders in Syria in an airstrike last week, the Associated Press reported Monday.
According to Major Beth Riordan, a spokeswoman for U.S. Central Command, the airstrike was carried out on October 22 as the senior leaders for the terrorist group convened near Idlib, a city in northwestern Syria near the Turkish border.
Riordan did not disclose the names of the leaders in her statement to the Associated Press, but said that their removal was a strategic victory for the U.S. and its partners in the region.
“The removal of these AQ-S leaders will disrupt the terrorist organization’s ability to further plot and carryout global attacks threatening U.S. citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians,” Riordan said.
She added: “AQ-S takes advantage of the instability in northwest Syria to establish and maintain safe havens to coordinate terrorist activities. With our allies and partners, we will continue to target al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations.”
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that, in all, 17 jihadists died in the airstrike, which targeted a dinner meeting last Thursday.
“They had been invited to dinner in a tent on a farm in Jakara,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told Military.com. “It was a meeting of leaders opposed to [Hayat Tahrir al-Sham] and who reject the Russia-Turkish deals.”
The news follows another apparent blow to the terrorist organization. On Monday, Afghanistan officials reported that they had killed a top al Qaeda propagandist who was on the FBI’s most-wanted list.
The reported killing of Husam Abd al-Rauf was a good sign of continued resistance there as the U.S. finalizes its full withdrawal from the country in the coming months.
US airstrike reportedly kills 7 senior al Qaeda leaders in Syria The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ TheBlaze.