US says airstrike killed 7 leaders of al-Qaida in Syria

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WASHINGTON — The United States believes it killed seven senior leaders of al-Qaida in Syria in an airstrike last week as the leaders were meeting near Idlib, U.S. Central Command said Monday.

A Central Command spokeswoman, Maj. Beth Riordan, said the strike was conducted Oct. 22. She did not identify the seven leaders by name.

“The removal of these AQ-S leaders will disrupt the terrorist organization’s ability to further plot and carryout global attacks threatening U.S. citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians,” she said.

“AQ-S takes advantage of the instability in northwest Syria to establish and maintain safe havens to co-ordinate terrorist activities,” she added. "With our allies and partners, we will continue to target al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations.”

The U.S. also conducted an airstrike against al-Qaida in Syria, near Idlib, on Oct. 15.

The Associated Press