World America 03 Nov 2016 US strike kills Qaed ...

US strike kills Qaeda 'attack planner' in Syria: Pentagon

AFP
Published Nov 3, 2016, 4:00 pm IST
Updated Nov 3, 2016, 4:00 pm IST
Officials are privately confident the strikes killed Farouq al-Qahtani, al-Qaeda's emir for northeastern Afghanistan.
Syrian citizens walking between the wreckage of destroyed buildings that were damaged after a government forces warplane crashed in the center of the town of Ariha, in the northwestern province of Idlib, Syria. (Photo: AP)
 Syrian citizens walking between the wreckage of destroyed buildings that were damaged after a government forces warplane crashed in the center of the town of Ariha, in the northwestern province of Idlib, Syria. (Photo: AP)

Washington: A US drone strike in Syria last month killed an al-Qaeda member with ties to the organization's senior leadership, the Pentagon said on Thursday.

The October 17 strike near Idlib northwestern Syria killed Haydar Kirkan, who "was intent on plotting and carrying out attacks against the West," Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said.

 

"He was a long serving and experienced courier for Al-Qaeda in Syria. He had ties to Al-Qaeda's senior leaders to include Osama bin Laden himself, and he was Al-Qaeda's senior external terror attack planner in Syria," Davis said, without describing any of the purported plots.

In recent weeks, the Pentagon has targeted other al-Qaeda members.

On October 23, US drone strikes targeted two top Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan.

While officials have not confirmed any deaths, they are privately confident the strikes killed Farouq al-Qahtani, al-Qaeda's emir for northeastern Afghanistan, and his deputy Bilal al-Utabi.

 

On October 21 in Yemen, five al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) members were killed in a US air strike, including local AQAP leader Abu Hadi al-Bayhani, Davis said.

"Al-Qaeda doesn't recognize borders when they conspire to commit terrorist attacks against the West, and we will continue to work with our partners and allies to find and destroy their leaders, their fighters and their cells that are planning attacks externally," Davis said.

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