Howard Altman, managing editor of Military Times, tweeted this evening: “Great al-Qaeda The leader Salim Abu Ahmed was killed in a US air strike near the site IdlibAnd Syrian Arab Republic, on Sept. 20, told CENTCOM. He was responsible for planning, financing, and approving trans-regional al-Qaeda attacks.
Army Major John Rigsby, a spokesman for US Central Command, later told Military Times: “Salim Abu Ahmed was responsible for planning, financing and approving the trans-regional al-Qaeda attacks.
There are no indications of civilian casualties as a result of the strike.
“This strike continues US operations to weaken international terrorist networks and target terrorist leaders who seek to attack the American homeland, its interests, and its allies abroad,” he added.
The reports appear to confirm what the US Central Command claimed after the September 20 strike, which at the time was called a drone strike.
Spokeswoman Lieutenant Josie Lynn Linney said: “Initial indications are that we hit our target.
“There are no indications of civilian casualties as a result of the strike.”
Sure enough, the airstrikes were approved by US President Joe Biden, who is keen to quell the terrorist group’s resurgence after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.
Analysts believe the strike is the first confirmed against al-Qaeda in Syria this year.
Charles Lister, of the Washington-based Middle East Institute, told The Voice of American News: “The United States has a track record of precision strikes targeting al-Qaeda operatives in northwest Syria, particularly since mid-2019, when members of the leadership were eliminated. Global by US drones.
Regular US drone strikes are stinging an already aggravating wound for al-Qaeda in Syria – a country that only a few years ago seemed to be al-Qaeda’s greatest promise.
The September 20 air strike is the first confirmed by the US since the August 29 drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan that killed 10 civilians, including an aid worker and seven children.
Military officials acknowledged the incident was a “tragic mistake” that hit the wrong target after tracking threats that ISIS-K was planning to attack Kabul’s international airport with a vehicle that matched the description of the vehicle that was bombed.
Large areas of Idlib and Aleppo provinces are still under the control of the armed Syrian opposition, which is dominated by groups such as Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, which is linked to al-Qaeda.
In total, more than four million civilians live in the area, many of them internally displaced.
The Syrian government has vowed to regain control, but a ceasefire negotiated last year in Idlib has so far held.