U.S. air strike in Syria kills more than 100 al Qaeda members: defence official

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Smoke rises over Syrian town of Kobani after an airstrike, as seen from the Mursitpinar border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border in the town of Suruc in this file October 18, 2014 file photo. A U.S.-led military coalition has been bombing Islamic State fighters who hold a large swathe of territory in both Iraq and Syria, two countries involved in complex multi-sided civil wars in which nearly every country in the Middle East has a stake. The Turkish military and police had declared the Turkish-Syrian border area a "military zone", which limits the ability of the press to move around. In these days of modern warfare, the weaponry is more powerful than that in the old days. So all of my colleagues and I have to be doubly careful to ensure we do not end up in the line of fire, as positions of Kurdish YPG fighters and IS militants change quickly. For all those reasons, to stay away is the only solution at the moment. We ended up on hills about 2km (1.24 miles) away from Kobani using very long telephoto lenses, often more than 1000mm, to get a peek into the city while listening to the sound of war and smelling its scent. Sometimes you see a shadow of a fighter hiding behind a building and more often you see the massive impact of heavy airstrikes. It is a bit strange sitting there with lenses I usually use for sports photography alongside people from the area, who come to the hills to see what's going on. They bring binoculars and make tea - making it almost seems like a tourist attraction. - Kai Pfaffenbach REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach (TURKEY - Tags: MILITARY POLITICS CONFLICT TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) ATTENTION EDITORS: THIS PICTURE IS PART OF THE PACKAGE 'PICTURES OF THE YEAR 2014 - THE PHOTOGRAPHERS' STORY'. SEARCH 'PHOTOGRAPHERS' STORY' FOR ALL IMAGES' - RTR4FOX1

A U.S. air strike on Thursday targeting an al Qaeda training camp in Syria killed more than 100 militants, a U.S. defence official said on Friday.

The strike took place just a day before the end of President Barack Obama’s presidency and a day after more than 80 Islamic State militants were killed in U.S. air strikes in Libya.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the air strike was primarily carried out by a B-52 bomber and dropped 14 munitions.Image result for u.s air strike syria

The official added that the strike against the camp took place in Idlib province, west of Aleppo, and there was a high level of confidence that there were no civilian casualties.

A U.S.-led coalition has been carrying out air strikes and supporting local forces in Syria to oust Islamic State militants. However, there is concern that the defeat of Islamic State could open the door for al Qaeda to take territory in ungoverned parts of the country.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Friday that an air strike killed more than 40 members of the jihadist group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham in northwestern Syria. It was not immediately clear if this strike was the same one the defence official was referring to.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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