BEIRUT — A drone strike believed to have been carried out by a US-led coalition in northwestern Syria on Friday killed two operatives of al-Qaeda-linked groups, Syrian opposition activists said.
The two terrorists were killed while riding motorcycles near the northern village of Qah near the Turkish border, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the opposition War Observatory and several other activist groups. Murdered.
There was no immediate comment from the US military. The attack was the latest in a string of attacks over the past several years targeting al-Qaeda-linked terrorists in northwestern Syria.
The opposition Syrian Civil Defense Force, also known as the White Helmets, said its members had put out fires caused by the drone strike, adding that two “unknown persons” had died.
According to the observatory, the two were members of the Horas al-Din, which means “guardians of religion” in Arabic. The group includes members of hardcore al-Qaeda terrorists who broke away from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the most powerful rebel group in Idlib province. Idlib is the last major rebel enclave in war-torn Syria.
The Observatory also said one of the two men killed was an Iraqi citizen.
Last June, Abu Hamza al-Yemen was killed in a drone strike by a US-led coalition in Idlib province. A senior member of Horus Aldin.
In 2017, a US airstrike killed Abu al-Keel al-Masri, a former aide to Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda terrorist group’s second commander in Syria.
Brett McGurk, a former top U.S. envoy for the coalition fighting the ISIS terrorist group, said when he was at the post that Idlib was the largest al-Qaeda refuge since bin Laden’s days in Afghanistan.