US strike targets leader of Al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US military said it carried out a “kinetic strike” targeting a leader of the Hurras al-Din jihadist group, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, in the Syrian province of Idlib on Monday (June 27).

“Abu Hamzah al Yemeni was travelling alone on a motorcycle at the time of the strike,” US Central Command (Centcom) said in a statement, adding that an “initial review indicates no 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,” Centcom said.  

The US is “highly confident” that the strike, carried out from a drone, killed Abu Hamzah al Yemeni, a US official with knowledge of the operation told CNN, speaking on condition of anonymity.  

The strike was the second US operation in June to target a senior jihadist in Syria.  

US forces captured Hani Ahmed Al-Kurdi, a leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group, on June 16 during a raid in Aleppo province.  

They also killed ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi during an operation in Atme, a region of Idlib province, on Feb 3. 

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