Obama Targets Al-Qaeda in Final Airstrike of Presidency

The Pentagon says more than 100 fighters killed
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2017 10:00 AM CST
Obama's Last Airstrike Kills 100 in Syrian Training Camp
A US Air Force B-52 bomber.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

On Thursday evening, an Air Force B-52 bomber and two armed drones hit an al-Qaeda training camp in Syria with 14 bombs and missiles, killing more than 100 fighters, according to the Pentagon. USA Today reports it was the final known counterterrorism operation carried out by the Obama administration, and the Telegraph calls it the last "major" airstrike under President Obama. The Pentagon announced the airstrike Friday, the New York Times reports. US officials say they have a "high level" of confidence that no civilians were killed in the airstrike.

The Shaykh Sulayman Training Camp in Idlib near Syria's border with Turkey had been operating since 2013. In the wake of the airstrike, the group that operated the camp, formerly known as the Nusra Front, said they had broken with al-Qaeda and were involved in operations against Syrian President Assad. The Pentagon disagrees. A Pentagon spokesperson says the airstrike "disrupts training operations and discourages hard-line Islamist and Syrian opposition groups from joining or cooperating with al-Qaeda." (More airstrike stories.)

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