US Missile Strike Kills Over 50 al-Qaeda in Northwest Syria

Attack targeted large gathering in Idlib Province

Any expectations of calm returning to Idlib Province today, when a Syria-Russia ceasefire went into effect didn’t pan out, as the United States, not a party to the deal, fired a missile into northern Idlib, hitting a camp belonging to al-Qaeda in Syria.

The attack apparently targeted a gathering of al-Qaeda in Syria leaders from a few different allied factions north of Idlib City, and killed over 50 people at the camp. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights branded them all “jihadist leaders.”

The Pentagon, by way of trying to legally justify the strike, said the group was “threatening US citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians.” They vowed to continue targeting al-Qaeda to keep them from using Syria as a safe haven.

Al-Qaeda in Syria has small amounts of territory, mostly in Idlib Provence, and lost part of that to the Syrian military over the past week. Interestingly, the offensive against al-Qaeda was being criticized in pro-West circles for being anti-rebel.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.