Flashpoints

US military strikes al-Qaida militants in Syria

BEIRUT — The U.S. military says it has struck an al-Qaida leadership and training facility in northern Syria where attacks threatening Americans and others were being planned.

The U.S. Central Command said in a statement that the strike occurred on Sunday near the northern province of Aleppo.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition-linked war monitor, said Monday that the strike killed eight members of the al-Qaida-linked Horas al-Din, which is Arabic for "Guardians of Religion."

This photo released Dec. 4, 2018, by the al-Qaida-affiliated Ibaa News Agency, shows al-Qaida-linked fighters driving their vehicles during a military drill in northern Syria. (Ibaa News Agency via AP)
Al-Qaida’s advance in northern Syria threatens fragile truce

It only took a few days for al-Qaida-linked militants to seize more than two dozen towns and villages in northern Syria from rival insurgents earlier this month, cementing their control over an area the size of neighboring Lebanon.

The Observatory says the dead included six commanders: two Algerians, two Tunisians, an Egyptian and a Syrian.

Al-Qaida-linked militants control wide parts of northern Syria, mostly in Idlib province, the last major rebel stronghold in the war-torn country.

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