The United States military says it carried out a raid in Syria’s Idlib province that targeted a senior leader of an al-Qaeda-aligned group.
The attack on Monday targeted Abu Hamzah al Yemeni, a “senior leader” of al-Qaeda-aligned Hurras al-Din, while he was travelling alone on a motorcycle, the US Central Command said in a statement.
It added that an initial review did not indicate civilian casualties.
“The removal of this senior leader will disrupt al-Qaeda’s ability to carry out attacks against US citizens, our partners and innocent civilians around the world,” the statement added.
The Syrian Civil Defence, a humanitarian organisation, said in a tweet that a man was killed shortly before midnight after his motorcycle was targeted with two rockets, adding it has transferred the body to the forensic department in Idlib city.
Huras al-Din was founded in 2018 by al-Qaeda supporters.
In June 2020, the US military killed Khaled Aruri, a top Jordanian commander with Huras al-Din, also in Idlib. A drone attack in December 2019 killed a senior Huras al-Din commander, the Jordanian citizen Bilal Khuraisat, also known as Abu Khadija al-Urduni.
Separate US air attacks in Syria have also killed al-Qaeda’s then second-in-command, Abu Kheir al-Masri, in 2017, the first leader of ISIL (ISIS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in 2019, and his sucessor, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, in February.