The U.S. military conducted a successful airstrike in Syria against a "senior al Qaeda leader,” U.S. Central Command announced.
The “kinetic counterterrorism strike” occurred near Idlib, Syria, on Monday, and the target was killed while no civilians were hurt, CENTCOM said.
"U.S. forces conducted a kinetic counterterrorism strike near Idlib, Syria, today, on a senior al-Qaeda leader,” Lt. Josie Lynne Lenny, a spokesperson for CENTCOM, said in a statement. “Initial indications are that we struck the individual we were aiming for, and there are no indications of civilian casualties as a result of the strike."
Officials did not provide any additional details, nor did they specify who the target was, and Pentagon spokesman John Kirby declined to answer questions about the strike during Monday’s briefing.
The strike hit a vehicle, leaving it charred and split down the middle and on the side of a rural road, according to the Associated Press.
U.S. officials have expressed concern about al Qaeda and the possibility that they could experience a resurgence, especially in light of the end of the War in Afghanistan, which concluded with the Taliban in control of the country.
Lt. Gen. Scott Berrier, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and Deputy CIA Director David Cohen warned that al Qaeda could obtain the means to attack the U.S. homeland within a year or two from Afghanistan.
The fear of an al Qaeda return in Afghanistan may have increased in recent weeks when a proof-of-life video featured Ayman al Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden’s deputy and successor as leader of the group. Amin al Haq, bin Laden’s security chief, also received a warm welcome upon his return to Afghanistan after the fall of Kabul.
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Original Author: Mike Brest
Original Location: US conducts airstrike on senior al Qaeda leader in Syria