US confirms airstrike in Syria killed al-Qaida commander
LOLITA C. BALDOR
Oct. 18, 2015
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — The U.S. military is confirming that an airstrike in Syria by the U.S.-led coalition has killed a top al-Qaida commander.
The Pentagon says a Saudi national known as Sanafi al-Nasr was "a longtime jihadist experienced in funneling money and fighters" for the terrorist network.
A statement from the U.S. Defense Department says coalition forces conducted the airstrike on Thursday over northwest Syria.
The U.S. says he was a leading figure in the Khorasan group — a secretive cell of al-Qaida operatives who U.S. officials say were sent from Pakistan to Syria to plot attacks against the West.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter says the military operation "deals a significant blow" to the Khorasan group's plans to attack the U.S. and its allies.
A U.S. official who was not authorized to discuss the strike publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity said an American drone targeted and struck the militant.