Two jihadist commanders killed in Syria drone strikes: monitor

Beirut (AFP) –


Drone strikes Monday killed two jihadist commanders close to Al-Qaeda in the Idlib region of northwest Syria, a war monitor said.

The raids were carried out by the US-led international coalition battling jihadists in Syria and Iraq, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

But the coalition told AFP it had not carried out any strikes in Idlib province on Monday.

The strikes targeted a vehicle on the road leading from Idlib city to Binnish further north, the Observatory said.

Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP that one of the commanders killed was Tunisian while the other was from Yemen or Saudi Arabia, without identifying the group they belonged to.

The Idlib region is dominated by Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate, but rebels and other jihadists are also present.

Jihadist factions have been the target of Syrian, Russian, US and international coalition strikes in the past.

Nine jihadists were killed in October 2019 in Russian air strikes on Idlib province, while a US strike a month earlier killed at least 40 jihadist leaders.

Syria's war has killed around half a million people since starting in 2011 with a brutal crackdown on anti-government protests, spiralling into a complex battlefield involving foreign armies, militias and jihadists.