WASHINGTON, November 7 (RIA Novosti) – The recent US airstrikes launched in northwestern Syria were not targeted against the al-Qaeda affiliated Jabhat Al-Nusra terrorist group, Gen. Lloyd Austin from the US Central Command (CENTCOM) has said.
"We [CENTCOM] did conduct a number of strikes and the strikes were focused on the Khorasan [extremist] group," Gen. Austin said Thursday at an Atlantic Council event.
"There were no strikes conducted against the Al-Nusra Front," the general stressed, adding that the Pentagon is still determining which targets were taken out during the Wednesday strikes in Syria and whether leader of the al-Qaeda affiliated Khorasan group David Drugeon was among them.
"[CENTCOM is] still assessing the results of those strikes…I would not want to speculate on the effectiveness, but we're still in the assessment phase," Gen. Austin said.
Reports of US military action against Al-Nusra first came from the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and were later confirmed on the al-Qaeda affiliate's Twitter feed. The militants said strikes were launched by "the alliance of Crusaders and Arabs on Al-Nusra positions, causing deaths, mostly of civilians".
Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as the al-Nusra Front, has recently made significant advances in Syria's Idlib province. The US strikes came in response to these advances.
Both al-Nusra and the Islamic State (IS) extremist group, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012, are being targeted by a US-led anti-terrorism coalition.