Syria’s militant Jabhat Fateh al Sham, formerly the Nusra Front, said on Monday that Egyptian cleric Abu al Faraj al Masri, a prominent member of the militant group, had been killed in a strike by the US-led coalition.
A statement posted to social media said Sheikh Abu al Faraj al Masri, whose real name is Shekih Ahmad Salamah Mabrouk, a member of the group’s religious Shura council, had been killed in a strike in the rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib.
Two jihadi sources had earlier confirmed that Masri was killed when an unidentified drone hit the vehicle he was travelling in a location near Jisr al Shuqour in Idlib, in Syria’s northwest.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed widespread reports on social media that he was targeted in a drone attack but did not say whether he was killed.
The United States had targeted a prominent al Qaeda member in Syria with an air strike and was still assessing the results of the strike, a US defence department official told Reuters.
“We will not discuss specific operations or release information about air strikes against high-value targets until we can confirm it was a successful strike,” the defence official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.