U.S. strike ‘kills Khorasan Group leader’ in Syria
THE United States (U.S.) says it has killed a senior al-Qaeda militant in an air strike in north-western Syria.
A Pentagon statement said Muhsin al-Fadhli was targeted two weeks ago while travelling in a vehicle near Sarmada.
It described Fadhli as the leader of a network of veteran al-Qaeda operatives, known as the “Khorasan Group”, who were allegedly plotting external attacks against the U.S. and its allies.
The Kuwaiti was also reported to have been killed in a U.S. strike last year.
Fadhli was a confidant of Osama Bin Laden and one of the few al-Qaeda members to receive advanced warning of the 11 September 2001 attacks, according to the U.S.
Shortly before the U.S. began air strikes on Islamic State (IS) across Syria in September, cruise missiles struck two areas near the northern city of Aleppo. The targets were not IS positions, but buildings allegedly used by the Khorasan Group.
U.S. Officials said the shadowy organisation was made up of about 50 veteran militants from Afghanistan and Pakistan, which jihadists refer to as Khorasan, as well as North Africa and Chechnya.
They had been sent to Syria by al-Qaeda’s leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, not to fight the government of President Bashar al-Assad but to “develop external attacks, construct and test improvised explosive devices and recruit Westerners to conduct operations”, the officials claimed.
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