Attack on al-Qaeda in Syria, kills several leaders

Beirut, PTI | Updated : 06 March 2015, 09:48 AM

An attack targeting leaders of the jihadist Al-Nusra Front in Syria killed several leaders of the Al-Qaeda affiliate in the northwestern province of Idlib, a monitor said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights yesterday said "anumber of Al-Nusra Front leaders were killed" in the attack asthey gathered for a meeting, but was unable to say if itschief, Abu Mohamed al-Jolani, was among them.

"It's not clear if the attack was carried out by thecoalition or the regime, and there is contradictoryinformation over the fate of Abu Mohamed al-Jolani... amidreports that he was at the place of the attack," Observatorydirector Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

Abdel Rahman, whose group relies on a network of sourceson the ground for its reports, was referring to the US-ledcoalition carrying out air strikes against jihadists in Iraqand Syria since last year, and the regime of Syrian PresidentBashar al-Assad. Thursday's attack came after Al-Nusra Front overran Base46 -- the main operations centre of the Western-backed Hazmmovement in the neighbouring province of Aleppo.

Pentagon spokesman, Colonel Steve Warren, said: "We cannotconfirm press reports of the deaths of senior al-Nusra leadersnear the province of Idlib." However, he added: "Neither the US or the coalition haveconducted airstrikes near that location in recent days." 

First Published: Friday, March 06, 2015 09:42 AM
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