Senior Al-Qaeda leader killed in drone strike in Syria: US Report

Washington: A senior al-Qaeda leader was killed in a drone airstrike in Syria, Fox News reported citing a US defence official.

Salim Abu-Ahmad, on September 20 was killed in a US airstrike near Idlib, Syria. He was responsible for planning, funding, and approving trans-regional al Qaeda attacks, according to Fox News.

US defence officials said. "There were no indications of civilian casualties."

US has carried out attacks in Idlib before targeting Al-Qaeda terrorists and the leader of the IS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was hiding in the province after fleeing from eastern Syria.

Earlier, a military aircraft, presumably of the US Air Force on September 13 struck at two cars on the Syrian-Iraqi border, a source in the Iraqi militia, the Popular Mobilization Forces, told Sputnik.

"Two cars were hit by an airstrike on the border between Iraq and Syria," the source said. According to him, the strike was allegedly inflicted by the US Air Force.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon plans to rely on air strikes to prevent a resurgence of Al-Qaeda now that US troops have left Afghanistan, but experts and some lawmakers are skeptical about the effectiveness of the so-called "over-the-horizon" strategy, AFP reported.

Announcing the complete withdrawal of US troops in April, President Joe Biden vowed he would not allow a comeback of Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, where Osama bin Laden hatched the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.

Since then, the Pentagon has repeatedly claimed it is capable of keeping Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS) militants in Afghanistan in check through "over-the-horizon" strikes from US bases or aircraft carriers.

"Over-the-horizon operations are difficult but absolutely possible," Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday, AFP quoted.

"And intelligence that supports them comes from a variety of sources, and not just US boots on the ground."

(With inputs from agencies)



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