Washington: The Pentagon on Monday confirmed it had targeted “senior” Al-Qaeda leader Abu Firas al-Suri and other jihadist fighters in an air strike in Syria.
Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said the US military carried out the strike in northwestern Syria on Sunday, resulting in several enemy fighters being killed.
“We assess that Al-Qaeda senior leader Abu Firas al-Suri was in that meeting and we are working to confirm his death,” Cook said.
He said al-Suri is a Syrian national and a “legacy” Al-Qaeda member who fought in Afghanistan in the late 1980s and 1990s.
He “worked with Osama bin Laden and other founding Al-Qaeda members to train terrorists and conduct attacks globally,” Cook said.
He declined to comment on whether the strike was carried out by drones or manned warplanes.
Al-Qaeda-linked fighters in Syria operate under the banner of the Al-Nusra Front.
A temporary ceasefire between Syrian government forces and rebels has largely held since February 27, but it does not cover Al-Nusra or the Islamic State group.