KABUL: (Middle East Press) A senior commander of al-Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda has been killed in an air strike by Syrian government forces, the group and state media reported.
According to reports, Abu Hammam al-Shami, also known as al-Farouq al-Suri, was killed in a special army operation in Idlib province on Thursday.
Al-Shami, a veteran al-Qaeda leader from Damascus, held the title of general military commander for al-Nusra Front.
Last week, members of the armed group had said he had been killed in a US drone strike.
But on Thursday, it said Shami had been killed earlier that day when he was in a meeting with other senior al-Nusra commanders.
Thursday’s air strike came a day after the group claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on the intelligence headquarters of Syria’s air force in Aleppo.
Colonel Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said: “We cannot confirm press reports of the deaths of senior al-Nusra leaders near the province of Idlib.”
However, he added: “Neither the US or the coalition have conducted air strikes near that location in recent days.”