IS-linked fighter in Syria killed in apparent US drone strike

Civil rescue group says passerby also wounded in attack on alleged militant riding motorcycle in northern Syria

Illustrative photo of a US-made Reaper drone. (Dominique Faget/AFP)
Illustrative photo of a US-made Reaper drone. (Dominique Faget/AFP)

BEIRUT — A drone strike believed to have been carried out by the US-led coalition in northern Syria Friday killed one man with Islamic State links and wounded a passerby, a paramedic group and an opposition war monitor said.

The Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, said the man was killed while riding a motorcycle. It added that a passerby was also wounded.

Rami Abdurrahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the man targeted by the drone was a militant linked to the Islamic State group. The Observatory said the attack occurred on the road connecting the town of al-Bab with the village of Bazaa.

The US-led coalition has been targeting militants linked to al-Qaeda and IS for years.

In May, the US military said it was investigating reports that it had killed a civilian in a strike earlier that month in northwest Syria while targeting a senior al-Qaeda leader.

On any given day there are at least 900 US forces in Syria, along with an undisclosed number of contractors, who partner with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. They are tasked with preventing a comeback by IS, which swept through Iraq and Syria in 2014, taking control of large swaths of territory, and sometimes targeting other militant groups.

Despite their defeat in Syria in March 2019, IS sleeper cells still carry out deadly attacks in the war-torn country mainly targeting Syrian government forces, SDF members and local officials.

In another part of Syria, an accident on the road, linking the central city of Homs with the historic town of Palmyra, killed 16 people including women and children, according to state news agency SANA. It said the bodies were moved to hospitals in the central province of Homs.

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