Airstrike Kills al-Qaeda Leader In Syria
WASHINGTON – The leader of the al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria with a history of attacks against U.S. targets was killed in a U.S. airstrike on July 8, the Pentagon announced Tuesday.
Muhsin al-Fadhli, who led the Khorasan Group in Syria, was killed when the vehicle he was riding in northwest Syria near the Turkish border, was destroyed, said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.
The Khorasan was targeted last September when the U.S.-led coalition launched the initial airstrikes in Syria. Their camps were struck by Tomahawk missiles fired from ships in the Mediterranean. At the time, U.S. officials said Khorasan, an al-Qaeda offshoot, was in the final stages of preparing attacks on American or European targets.
The group’s sophisticated bomb-making acumen has been a particular concern of military officials. Al-Fadhli had deep roots with al-Qaeda, having been one of the few operatives who had received advance notice of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Davis said in a statement.
Al-Fadhli was killed by a missile fired by a drone, according to a Defense Department official who spoke about the strike on condition of anonymity. The airstrike targeted the specific vehicle he was traveling in based on intelligence, the official said. More