WASHINGTON: An air strike in Syria by the US-led coalition has killed the leader of a group of al Qaeda veterans that Washington calls the Khorasan group, the Pentagon said on Sunday.
Sanafi al Nasr, a Saudi national also known as Abdul Mohsen Abdullah Ibrahim al-Sharikh who led the al Qaeda offshoot, was killed in an air attack in the northwest of the country Thursday, a Pentagon spokesman said in a statement.
Air strike kills al Qaeda leader in Syria: Pentagon
According to the Pentagon, Nasr organised routes for new recruits to travel from Pakistan to Syria through Turkey and played a significant role in the group’s finances.
“Nasr was a longtime jihadist experienced in funneling 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,” the spokesman added.
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Al-Nasr worked for al Qaeda’s Iran-based network before taking charge of the militant group’s finances in 2012 and moving to Syria in 2013, the Pentagon said. He was the fifth senior Khorasan Group leader killed in the last four months, it said.
“This operation deals a significant blow to the Khorasan group’s plans to attack the US and our allies, and once again proves that those who seek to do us harm are not beyond our reach,” Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said in a statement. “The United States will not relent in its mission to degrade, disrupt and destroy Al-Qaeda and its remnants,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2015.