Jordanian and Yemeni al-Qaeda commanders killed in drone strike in Syria: Report

This picture taken on June 4, 2020 shows smoke plumes rising following shelling by pro-Syrian government forces in the town of Banin, north of Maaret al-Numan in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. (File photo: AFP)

A drone strike in northwestern Syria on Sunday killed two senior commanders with an al-Qaeda-linked group, opposition activists said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said the strike was believed to have been carried out by the US-led coalition, which has been targeting extremists in Syria for years.

The drone strike hit a vehicle carrying the two commanders — a Jordanian and a Yemeni — in the northwestern province of Idlib, the last remaining opposition stronghold in war-torn Syria.

The Observatory said the men killed were with the al-Qaeda-linked Horas al-Din group, Arabic for “Guardians of Religion.”

Fighters from the former al-Qaeda Syrian affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham fire an anti-aircraft gun mounted on a pickup truck in Syria's southern Idlib province on August 7, 2019. (File photo: AFP)

Fighters from the former al-Qaeda Syrian affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham fire an anti-aircraft gun mounted on a pickup truck in Syria's southern Idlib province on August 7, 2019. (File photo: AFP)

Al-Mohrar Media, an activist collective in northern Syria, said the dead were Horas al-Din’s general military commander, known as Qassam al-Urduni, or “Qassam the Jordanian.” It said the second man was a Yemeni citizen known as Bilal al-Sanaani, the commander of the group’s so-called “desert army.”

In December, a drone strike killed a senior Horas al-Din commander, the Jordanian citizen Bilal Khuraisat, also known as Abu Khadija al-Urduni.

In July last year, the US military said it struck an al-Qaeda leadership and training facility in northern Syria, where it said attacks threatening Americans and others were being planned. The US Central Command said in a statement at the time that the strike occurred near the northern province of Aleppo.

This picture taken on March 12, 2020 shows an aerial view of the town of Afis, in the northwestern Idlib province. (AFP)

This picture taken on March 12, 2020 shows an aerial view of the town of Afis, in the northwestern Idlib province. (AFP)

In neighboring Lebanon, the Lebanese army said the military carried out an operation in the eastern town of Brital on Sunday liberating 23 people, including women and children, who were kidnapped two weeks ago.

The army said those set free in Brital, which borders Syria, included Syrian citizens who were taken as hostages. It gave no further details.

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Last Update: Sunday, 14 June 2020 KSA 21:41 - GMT 18:41
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