US drone strike 'targets Al-Qaeda commander' in Idlib strike

US drone strike targets Al-Qaeda-linked militants in Idlib: report
2 min read
20 September, 2021
The US has allegedly killed high-ranking Hurras Al-Din militants according to reports.
Northwestern Syria has been witnessing sporadic military activities [Getty]

A US drone strike has allegedly killed commanders in a radical Islamist group in Syria's northwestern Idlib province, according to local media.

The drone, which according to eyewitnesses from the region had been spotted hovering over the area for days, struck a car along the Binnish-Idlib road.

Sources have said the car was carrying three senior figures in the Islamist Hurras Al-Din group, which has been linked to Al-Qaeda.

One of the commanders reportedly killed is Tunisian Abu Al-Bara al-Tunisi, who has been active in Syria for years and escaped two attempted assassinations, according to analyst Charles Lister.

He was previously affiliated to the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front.

Pictures shared online, which could not be verified by The New Arab, purportedly showed the charred vehicle Al-Tunisia was travelling in lying in a grove. Other videos showed black smoke billowing from the area.

This is the first US strike in Idlib in several months.

Idlib is still under the control of rebels - most backed by Turkey - and the Islamist Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham group. Ankara also has a military presence in the area.

Northwestern Syria has been witnessing sporadic military activities since a ceasefire was brokered in March 2020 by Turkey and Russia, which support opposing sides in the Syrian war.

The Syrian regime, which agreed to the Russia-Turkey negotiated truce, has vowed to restore control over territory it lost during the 10-year conflict.

The rebel-held region is home to some 6 million people, many of them displaced by the civil war that has killed a half million people and displaced half the country's pre-war population of 23 million, including more than 5 million who are refugees outside the country.