Pentagon officials are claiming that Muhsin al-Fadhli, an al-Qaeda figure who they accuse of being a leader of the “Khorasan” faction, was killed in a US airstrike earlier this month in the Aleppo Province of northern Syria.
US officials have claimed Fadhli was the target of several previous airstrikes against al-Qaeda, and had speculated in the past that he was killed. Al-Qaeda’s Syria faction, Jabhat al-Nusra, has not indicated whether or not the Kuwaiti-borned Fadhli was targeted or killed.
When US airstrikes target al-Qaeda forces in Syria, they usually attribute them as “Khorasan” figures, though it is widely acknowledged that the term Khorasan is itself of US manufacture, and primarily used to try to convince Syrian rebels that Nusra, a top rebel force, isn’t being targeted itself.
The US seems somewhat less concerned with targeting Nusra in recent months, however, since there are fewer and fewer US allies among the rebels to begin with, except for a tiny US-created faction that the US has dubbed the “New Syrian Force.”