US 'eliminated' Al-Qaeda plotters in Syria: Pentagon

AFP , Tuesday 23 Sep 2014

Rear Admiral John Kirby
The Pentagon Press Secretary, Rear Admiral John Kirby, address a news conference at the Pentagon in Washington DC (Photo: AP)

US air strikes have killed a group of Al-Qaeda veterans, members of the Khorasan group in Syria, who were suspected of plotting an imminent attack on Western targets, the Pentagon said Tuesday.

"We believe that the individuals that were plotting and planning ... it have been eliminated," spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told ABC television, referring to the alleged plan to hit US interests.

The strikes against the Khorasan group early Tuesday were separate from a wave of bombing raids led by the United States and backed by several Arab countries that targeted the Islamic State group in eastern Syria.

US Central Command, which oversees American forces in the Middle East, had announced earlier that US warplanes carried out eight air strikes against Khorasan Group targets west of Aleppo.

The raids targeted the group's training camps, an explosives and munitions production site, a communication building and a command and control center.

US intelligence agencies publicly cited the Khorasan group as a serious threat only in recent weeks, describing the militants as seasoned Al-Qaeda veterans who had set up a sanctuary in Syria to plot, construct explosives and recruit Westerners to conduct attacks.

The US officials say Khorasan extremists pose a threat just as potent as that presented by the IS group.

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