A U.S. airstrike has killed more than 100 al-Qaida fighters at a military training camp in Syria, a U.S. defense official told VOA Friday, in the last major military attack against the terror group under President Barack Obama.
A Boeing B-52 strategic bomber targeted the camp Thursday evening local time. It was located west of Aleppo in Idlib province, the defense official said.
The camp previously had been occupied by the militant group Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, formally known as al-Nusra Front, before al-Qaida started using it for basic military training.“This has been a well-known training camp for around two years,” the official added. He told VOA that Russia had previously struck the camp but was unsuccessful in removing the terrorists.
All of the militants were in one building at the time of the strike, and no women or children were present at the camp, according to the official.
The strike comes hours after two U.S. B-2 bombers killed more than 80 Islamic State fighters in two militant camps southwest of Sirte, Libya.
Speaking on his last full day in office Thursday, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters at the Pentagon the IS fighters targeted included “external plotters who were actively planning operations against our allies in Europe.”
He added the strikes should serve as a reminder to U.S. enemies that “while the world doesn't rest from the [government] transition here in Washington, neither does the Department of Defense.”