US drone strike kills 17 in Syria
BEIRUT, Lebanon: The US army said late on Thursday it carried out a drone strike against al-Qaeda leaders in northwestern Syria near the Turkish border, killing 17 Jihadists, according to a war monitor.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said five civilians were also among those killed. “US Forces conducted a strike against a group of Al-Qaeda in Syria (AQ-S) senior leaders meeting near Idlib, Syria,” said Major Beth Riordan, the spokeswoman for United States Central Command (Centcom).
“The removal of these AQ-S leaders will disrupt the terrorist organisation’s ability to further plot and carry out global attacks threatening US citizens, our partners and innocent civilians,” Riordan said in a statement.
She did not specify the number of deaths from the strike. But the Britain-based Observatory said the operation, which targeted a dinner meeting of jihadists in the village of Jakara in the Salqin area, killed at least 17 Jihadists including 11 leaders. The village lies in Syria’s last major rebel bastion of Idlib, which is dominated by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) group, led by a former al-Qaeda affiliate, and its rebel allies.