In a new statement today, the Pentagon claimed to have killed Sanafi al-Nasr, a long-sought al-Qaeda financial from Saudi Arabia, in an airstrike against northwest Syria. He was said to have been slain on Thursday.
Nasr was the subject of numerous sanctions and had been mentioned as a figure in al-Qaeda for years. The Pentagon has most recently claimed he was a figure in Khorasan, though most agree that term was never actually a thing outside of statements by US officials, and was just shorthand for al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.
This is the second time Nasr has been reported killed, and many Pentagon claims of slain militants haven’t panned out. Nasr’s exact status within al-Qaeda was a matter of considerable speculation, as he has brothers in the group as well, and was claimed to be a “third cousin” of Osama bin Laden.
The US didn’t specify the site of the airstrike, though interestingly a conflicting story has emerged claiming Nasr was actually killed by a Russian airstrike, just west of the city of Aleppo. With the US heavily emphasizing that their focus, unlike Russia’s, is exclusively on ISIS, it is noteworthy that their only recent named killing was of a non-ISIS target.
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