The United States carried out an air strike in Syria that reportedly killed at least 25 members of former al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham Front including a number of senior figures in the group, a US military official said Wednesday.
“This was a US strike,” said Colonel John Dorrian, a US military spokesman in Baghdad. He gave no toll.
The attack was carried out Tuesday on one of the group’s most important bases in Syria, in the northwestern province of Idlib, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP.
Among the dead were leading members of the group formerly known as al-Nusra Front, who had been holding a meeting, the observatory said, without identifying them.
The front had accused the US-led coalition of being behind the attack and said it killed more than 20 people. Dorrian said it was carried out by US warplanes only.
CENTCOM, which oversees US military operations in the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, also confirmed that US forces staged an air raid Sunday in the same region, near the city of Sarmada.
Idlib province is largely controlled by that group and others allied with it.
Tuesday’s air strike came four days into a ceasefire between Syria’s regime and major rebel groups. The truce was brokered by Russia and Turkey.
Moscow and Damascus say it does not cover Fateh al-Sham or the Islamic State group, labeled by the UN Security Council as terrorist organizations.