Syrian al-Qaeda Spokesman, 21 Others Slain in Air Strikes

Observatory: Qaeda Spokesman Was Meeting Jihadist Leaders

Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra has lost its main spokesman and a founding member of their organization today, with reports from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that an airstrike killed Abu Firas al-Suri, his son, and 20 others.

Suri was a long-time jihadist, who fought against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and was close with al-Qaeda’s central leadership, before returning to Syria in 2011. He was reportedly meeting with other jihadist groups within al-Qaeda’s coalition, when the strike hit.

Thus, not every jihadist killed was actually a member of Nusra, and many are reportedly from Jund al-Aqsa, and potentially other groups. The Syrian ceasefire does not cover Nusra, and so Syria can target them with impunity.

Details on where the attack happened aren’t totally clear, but it was apparently within the Idlib Province. This makes sense, because Nusra holds virtually that entire province, though they have faced some pressure from Syrian military forces along the Latakia border.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.