first published on April 4, 2016 by Will
A veteran al Qaeda spokesman who fought alongside Osama bin Laden against the Soviets in Afghanistan has been reportedly vaporized by a U.S. airstrike in Idlib, Syria.
Abu Firas al Suri, a 65-year-old al Qaeda member since the 1980s, was attending an al Nusra Front meeting in the village of Kafr Jales when he was targeted by a massive bomb drop. The blast killed at least 20 other Islamist fighters, including Firas’ son Azzam al-Azdi, an al-Nusra Front commander.
Firas travelled to Syria from Yemen in late 2012 in an attempt to mediate tensions between Nusra and ISIS when they first began to split. The talks failed, resulting in a bloody rivalry between the two top insurgent groups operating in the war-torn nation.
The following unconfirmed video reportedly shows the mushroom cloud aftermath of the massive explosion that killed the jihadists. The U.S. has mostly focused its air campaign against the Islamic State in Syria, although they have occasionally struck al Qaeda targets of opportunity.