Three members of al Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra and the group’s top military commander reportedly were killed in Syria on Thursday. State-run Syrian news agency SANA said Syrian regime bombing was responsible for the death of the commander. It did not elaborate on the other three members.
Abu Hommam al-Shami, the military commander of the Nusra Front, reportedly was killed when an explosion hit a meeting of the group’s top leadership in the northern Idlib province, the British-based monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed to The Associated Press. However, a senior member of Ahrar al-Sham, an Islamist rebel group aligned with the Nusra Front, claimed on his Twitter page that al-Shami was only injured.
— Rami (@RamiAlLolah) March 5, 2015
Syrian regime warplanes carried out six attacks in Idlib on Thursday, some of which were near the Nusra Front’s stronghold at the Abo al-Dohur airbase, according to SOHR’s website. Initial reports claimed that the U.S.-led coalition was responsible for the attack, but the coalition denied carrying out any airstrikes in the past 24 hours, according to Reuters.
Abu Omar al-Kurdi, one of the group’s first members, Abu al-Bara Ansari and Abu Musab al-Filastini also were killed. Reports on social media claimed that the militant group’s leader, Abu Mohammad al-Golani, had been injured in the attack, but those remain unconfirmed.
Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime claims to be fighting “terrorists” in the country, but a large number of its victims are civilians. Earlier on Thursday regime warplanes dropped barrel bombs on the residents of Qadi Askar in Aleppo province, killing at least 22 people, SOHR reported. Three children were among the dead.