The US military said it conducted a “kinetic strike” overnight Monday in Syria in an operation that targeted a senior al-Qaeda-linked terrorist.
“CENTCOM Forces conducted a kinetic strike in Idlib province, Syria, June 27, targeting Abu Hamzah al Yemeni, a senior leader of Hurras al-Din, an Al Qaeda-aligned terrorist organization,” a statement from the US Central Command read.
The US has come under increased criticism for airstrikes that have killed civilians. But the US said al-Yemeni was alone while traveling on a motorcycle, and no civilian casualties were reported.
Extremist organizations like Hurras al-Din continue to present a threat to America and its allies, CENTCOM said, adding that al-Qaeda-aligned militants use Syria as a safe haven to coordinate with external affiliates and plan operations outside of Syria.
“The removal of this senior leader will disrupt al-Qaeda’s ability to carry out attacks against US citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians around the world,” CENTCOM said.
US-led coalition troops detained a senior ISIS leader earlier this month, also inside Syria, the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) said.
Also this year, US President Joe Biden announced a special operation carried out by US troops, killing ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi.