The United States conducted a Saturday strike in Syria against jihadist leaders near the town of Idleb, killing at least 40 of them according to an NGO.
"This operation was targeting AQ-S leaders responsible for attacks threatening US citizens, our partners, as well as innocent civilians," the Pentagon said in a brief statement, without giving details of how the operation had been conducted.
Recrudescence of American strikes
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), which draws on a vast network of sources in Syria, said that missile fire had targeted a meeting gathering leaders jihadist groups Hourras al-Din and Ansar al-Tawhid and leaders of other extremist groups who are allied with them in a training camp. "At least 40 of them" were killed, said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the OSDH.
The attack came on the first day of a truce in the bombardment of the Syrian regime and its Russian ally against the Idleb region. The targeted groups are allies of the HTS, the former Syrian branch of Al Qaeda. All these factions have already been the target of air raids by the Syrian regime, its Russian ally, but also the international anti-jihadist coalition led by the United States, and the United States itself.
On June 30, the United States conducted a strike "against the leadership of Al Qaeda in Syria in a training facility" in the province of Aleppo, next to that of Idleb. The OSDH then claimed that the strike had killed eight, including six commanders of the group Hourras al-Din.
In 2014, the United States set up an international coalition to fight Daesh, which was defeated in March in Syria with the help of Kurdish forces. But American soldiers are still there in Syria. US strikes against jihadists have dropped significantly since 2017.
A truce of the Syrian regime
On another front of the war, the Syrian regime stopped its air strikes this Saturday on the Idleb region, the first day of a truce announced after four months of devastating bombing, said the OSDH.
An NGO said on Saturday that a civilian had been killed in Syrian missile fire on Idleb, the first "violation" of a truce that began in the morning and related only to the Syrian army.
This truce was announced the day before by Russia, allied with the Syrian President of Bashar al-Assad that it helps in the conflict, particularly in its offensive against jihadists and rebels in the Idleb region, which has done more than 950 deaths among civilians since the end of April. Ground fighting has also stopped, according to the NGO.