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Top al Qaeda leader killed in Syria: Pentagon

Washington: In a significant blow to al Qaeda, a commander of the terror outfit, who played a key role in sending new recruits from Pakistan to Syria has been killed in a coalition air strike, the Pentagon announced on Sunday.


Abdul Mohsen Adballah Ibrahim al Charekh, also known as Sanafi al-Nasr, a Saudi national and highest ranking leader of the network of veteran al Qaeda operatives also called the “Khorasan Group,” was killed in the air strike on October 15.

“The United States will not relent in its mission to degrade, disrupt and destroy al Qaeda and its remnants,” said Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.

“This operation deals a significant blow to the Khorasan Group’s plans to attack the United States and our allies, and once again proves that those who seek to do us harm are not beyond our reach,” Carter said.

A long-time jihadist experienced in funneling money and fighters for al Qaeda, al-Nasar moved funds from donors in the Gulf region into Iraq and then to al Qaeda leaders from Pakistan to Syria.

“He organised and maintained routes for new recruits to travel from Pakistan to Syria through Turkey in addition to helping al Qaeda’s external operations in the West. Al-Nasr previously worked for al Qaeda’s Iran-based facilitation network,” Pentagon Press Secretary, Peter Cook said.

In 2012 he took charge of al Qaeda’s core finances before relocating to Syria in 2013. Al-Nasr is the fifth senior Khorasan Group leader killed in the last four months.

Khorasan Group is a secret outfit of al Qaeda sent from Pakistan to Syria in order to plot attacks against the West.

The US Treasury Department previously named Al-Nasr a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224 on August 22, 2014. For operational security reasons we will not go into the specifics of the strikes.

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