US Central Command, or CENTCOM, announced today that it again targeted the “Khorasan Group,” which is comprised of a group of senior al Qaeda leaders and operatives who are embedded within the Al Nusrah Front. The Khorasan Group is tasked with identifying Western recruits who joined Al Nusrah and can be repurposed for attacks in their home countries or elsewhere abroad. The Al Nusrah Front is al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria.
The airstrike took place between Nov. 17-19, and “struck and destroyed a storage facility associated with the Khorasan Group,” CENTCOM said in a press release.
The US has now launched 15 air and cruise missile strikes on four different days against al Qaeda’s network in Syria since the air campaign inside Syria began on Sept. 22.
Eight airstrikes targeted al Qaeda’s network west of Aleppo on Sept. 22, five more strikes hit the group in Sarmada on Nov. 5, and another attack was launched west of Aleppo between Nov. 12-14.
CENTCOM has attempted to make a distinction between the so-called Khorasan Group and the Al Nusrah Front, even though they are one in the same. CENTCOM’s own targeting shows this.
The targets of the strikes on Sept. 22, Nov. 5, and the latest attack hit Al Nusrah Front infrastructure, which is used to wage the group’s local insurgency against the Assad regime (CENTCOM did not disclose the target of the strike that occurred between Nov. 12-14). Among the targets hit were IED-making facilities, a munitions production facility, a storage facility, a communication building, command and control facilities, training camps, staging areas for fighters, and vehicles. For more information on CENTCOM’s distinctions between the Khorasan Group and the Al Nusrah Front, see LWJ report, US airstrike targets al Qaeda in Syria.
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