Visible for miles, a mushroom of black smoke rose for long minutes in the sky of Idlib, where the lull lasted only a few hours. In the wake of a Russian bombardment break in the northwestern Syrian province, a salvo of American cruise missiles shook the environs of the small town of Al-Habit, half a dozen kilometers away. of the chief town of the region, Saturday, August 31.
In a brief statement, the US Army Central Command (US Centcom) said it targeted "al-Qaeda leaders in Syria responsible for attacks threatening US citizens, [their] partners, as well as civilians." innocent " , without further details. "With our allies and partners, we will continue to target violent extremists to prevent them from using Syria as a refuge," concludes Centcom.
On Saturday, rumors spread on social networks by supporters of the Islamic State (IS) organization included a raid on Abu Mohammed Al-Joulani, the leader of Hayat Tahrir Al- Cham (HTS), the dominant group in the province, himself from Al-Qaida. The "announcement" of his death has since been belied by sources close to his organization.
Images of debris
Saturday's attack, which allegedly killed 40 jihadist fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, may have targeted HTS dissidents grouped within the groups Hourras Al-Din ("the guardians of religion And Ansar Al-Tawhid, two jihadist mobile-styled factions, founded or led by Al-Qaida network executives, who started in the Afghan-Pakistani region before joining Syria during the war.
Unlike HTS, the former al-Qa'ida-based official branch in Syria having broken ties with the jihadist network to focus on a Syrian project, these groups, which include several hundred combatants, many of them foreigners, maintain their position. allegiance to the Egyptian Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the leader of the al-Qaida network.Article reserved for our subscribers Read also A Idlib, "nobody cares about our fate"
By the end of June, the United States had already targeted a Huron Al-Din siege in the Aleppo area, described by Centcom as a "Command and Training Center." The jihadist group had admitted that a "cross-coalition strike" had targeted it, causing the death of a "group of brothers". Images of debris presented as those of an American cruise missile had been published on social networks.