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Drone Strike in Syria Kills Two Jihadist Leaders: Monitor

A drone attack in northwestern Syria killed two commanders of an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group on Sunday, a war monitor said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack on Syria’s last major rebel bastion of Idlib could have been carried out by the United States.

But a spokesman for the US-led international coalition battling jihadists in Syria and Iraq told AFP the coalition “has not conducted any air strikes in northwestern Syria in recent weeks.”

Head of the Britain-based Observatory Rami Abdel Rahman said a Jordanian military commander and another of Yemeni nationality from the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Hurras al-Deen group were killed when a missile fired from a drone hit their car.

The Idlib region is currently home to some three million people and is dominated by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group led by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate, but other jihadists including Hurras al-Deen and rebel groups are also present.

Last year the United States carried out several attacks against jihadists in Idlib province.

Jihadists in the region have also been targeted by air strikes conducted by the Syrian regime and its Russian allies, as well as the US-led coalition.

A truce brokered by Russia and rebel backer Turkey has kept Syrian and Russian warplanes out of the region’s skies and has largely held since it went into effect in March.

The war in Syria has killed more than 380,000 people and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population since it started in 2011.

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