U.S. had carried out the air strike in Syria killing a prominent leader of al Qaeda side-shoot Nusra Front, Abu Firas al-Suri, reported the officials of the United States on Monday.
The Islamist rebel sources stated that Abu Firas – a prior Syrian army officer who was discharged in late 1970s for his Islamist inclinations – was the founding affiliate of the militant group & had fought in the 1980s in Afghanistan
Firas was the senior member of the policy-making Shura Council of Nusra Front.
A Pentagon representative said an air strike on Sunday by the United States had hit a meeting of the high-level al Qaeda officials in the north west Syria at which Abu Firas was present. The representative, Peter Cook, also said that US was still confirming whether Abu Firas had been exterminated.
US has previously targeted Nusra Front, however the bulk of the United States’ military’s firepower in Syria has been focused at IS (Islamic State) that occupies parts of Iraq & Syria.
Abu Firas was a ardent opponent of IS’s style & was ideologically at the odds with the militant group.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that tracks the violence in country, on Sunday had said that he (Abu Firas) was killed in a suspected Russian or Syrian air raid on a village that is located in the northwest of the city of Idlib in northwestern Syria.
However, the rebel sources said the outbreak seemed to have the trademarks of the U.S. drone strike.
The officials of the United States refused to offer the details on strike itself, including whether it was carried out by the unmanned or manned aircraft.
They also didn’t say whether Abu Firas was specially targeted.
From Madaya, which is near Damascus, Abu Firas operated with the al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in spurring the support among Pakistani enthusiasts of fundamentalist Taliban movement in Afghanistan some decades ago, said the rebel sources.
“May God accept him as a martyr, he was a commanding figure. This was engineered by the Crusader axis,” stated one of the sources.