US names Al-Qaeda commander killed in Syria

A photo taken on Sept 20, 2021, shows the remains of a vehicle destroyed by what is believed to be a drone strike in Syria's rebel-held city of Idlib. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US military on Friday (Oct 1) named the senior Al-Qaeda commander killed in an airstrike in the Idlib region of northwest Syria on Sept 20 as Salim Abu-Ahmad.

The drone strike targeted a vehicle on the road from Idlib city to Binnish, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said two militant commanders died.

US Central Command acknowledged killing an Al-Qaeda official at the time, but did not name him.

In a statement on Friday, Centcom spokesman John Rigsbee said Salim Abu-Ahmad "was responsible for planning, funding, and approving trans-regional Al-Qaeda attacks."

"There are no indications of civilian casualties as a result of the strike," the statement added.

The Idlib region is dominated by Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate, but rebels and other militants are also present.

Militant factions have been the target of Syrian, Russian, US and international coalition strikes in the past.

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