US-led strikes kill 30 Qaeda fighters in Syria: monitor

23 Sep 2014 / 21:42 H.

    BEIRUT: US-led air strikes killed 30 Al-Qaeda militants and eight civilians, including children, in northern Syria today, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
    Most of the 30 fighters killed in the strikes west of the second city Aleppo were foreigners, and the civilians included three children and one woman, the Britain-based monitoring group said.
    The toll came after the Pentagon confirmed eight strikes against "seasoned Al-Qaeda veterans" in Aleppo province in addition to a series of strikes targeting the Islamic State group elsewhere in northern and eastern Syria.
    "The United States has also taken action to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests conducted by a network of seasoned Al-Qaeda veterans – sometimes referred to as the Khorasan Group," it said in a statement.
    The group, it added, has "established a safe haven in Syria to develop external attacks, construct and test improvised explosive devices and recruit Westerners to conduct operations".
    The Khorasan Group is believed to refer to an initiative by Al-Qaeda's central command in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region to establish a group in Syria of some of its veteran militants to focus on attacks against the West.
    Its members cooperate with Al-Nusra Front, Al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate, using the group's resources and bases, according to experts.
    Al-Nusra's focus, however, has so far been on the fight against President Bashar al-Assad's regime and its members are largely Syrian citizens. – AFP

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