Drone strike in Syria kills 2 Al-Qaeda-linked operatives
The two militants were killed while riding a motorcycle near the northern village of Qah, close to the Turkish border, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, and several other activist collectives.
Syria: An American drone killed a motorcyclist in Idlib a short time ago. According to estimates, 1/2 🧵 #عاجل#إدلب#سوريا#امريكا#فهد_الجبيري#تنظيم_القاعدة#أن_تعرف_أكثر#تنظيم_حراس_الدين#الجزيرة_لن_تبلغ_عن_هذاpic.twitter.com/uxsQEPItkt— Vagabond #JusticeForMalkiRoth (@vagabond2022) February 24, 2023
The opposition’s Syrian Civil Defense, also known as White Helmets, said its members extinguished a fire caused by the drone strike, adding that two "unknown persons" were killed.
The Observatory said the two were members of Horas al-Din, which is Arabic for "Guardians of Religion." The group includes hardcore Al-Qaeda members who broke away from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the strongest insurgent group in Idlib province. Idlib is the last major rebel enclave in war-torn Syria.
The Observatory also said that one of the two killed men was an Iraqi citizen.
In June last year, a drone strike by the U.S.-led coalition in Idlib province killed Abu Hamzah al Yemeni. a senior member of Horas al-Din.
In 2017, a U.S. airstrike killed a former aide to Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda’s second in command in Syria, Abu al-Kheir al-Masri.
The former top U.S. envoy to the coalition battling the Islamic State group, Brett McGurk, said at the time when he was in the post that Idlib is the largest Al-Qaeda haven since bin Laden’s days in Afghanistan.