Washington: The top commander of Al Qaeda who was plotting terror attacks on Western countries has been killed in an US air raid, military officials said on Tuesday.
Iran’s Fars news agency reported that Sanafi al Nasr was killed after a car in which he was travelling was hit near al Dana, west of Aleppo.
Photos showing the dead bodies of the 30-year-old and two other senior militants killed in the same attack were disseminated by al Qaeda-linked rebel group al Nusra Front, according to Fars.
Al Nasr has been a joint commander of al Nusra since his arrival in Syria in 2013, according to the UN.
His death was widely reported on Saturday but the Pentagon has now put out a statement saying its jets launched the strike.
A Department of Defense statement said: “On October 15, Coalition forces conducted an airstrike in northwest Syria that killed Abdul Mohsen Adballah Ibrahim al Charekh, aka Sanafi al Nasr, a Saudi national and the highest ranking leader of the network of veteran al Qaeda operatives sometimes called the ‘Khorasan Group’.
“Al Nasr was a long-time jihadist experienced in funnelling money and fighters for al Qaeda. He moved funds from donors in the Gulf region into Iraq and then to al Qaeda leaders from Pakistan to Syria.
“He organized and maintained routes for new recruits to travel from Pakistan to Syria through Turkey in addition to helping al Qaeda’s external operations in the West.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said: “This operation deals a significant blow to the Khorasan Group’s plans to attack the United States and our allies, and once again proves that those who seek to do us harm are not beyond our reach.”
According to the Long War Journal, the death of al Nasr has been reported by al Nusra in the past.