The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria, has published a series of photos purportedly showing the aftermath of the US-led bombing campaign in Syria. The photos are republished below.
The Long War Journal could not independently confirm that photos show sites struck in the bombings. But the US has targeted the so-called “Khorasan group,” which is made up of senior al Qaeda operatives embedded within Al Nusrah’s ranks. The “Khorasan group” is simply part of al Qaeda, and not another entity.
CENTCOM said in a statement that the US launched eight airstrikes against “a network of seasoned al Qaeda veterans – sometimes referred to as the Khorasan Group – who have established a safe haven in Syria to develop external attacks, construct and test improvised explosive devices and recruit Westerners to conduct operations.”
The American strikes targeted “training camps, an explosives and munitions production facility, a communication building and command and control facilities” as part of an effort “to disrupt the imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests.”
Al Nusrah posted the photos on a Twitter feed representing its presence in Idlib. In one tweet, the group claims that its headquarters was empty of fighters and the “martyrs” were “innocent civilians.” However, there are credible reports that dozens of Al Nusrah fighters and operatives were killed in the bombings.
Al Nusrah says the bombings were carried out by the “Crusaders,” which is a common motif in al Qaeda’s propaganda. Al Qaeda frequently portrays itself as being the vanguard of the jihadist and Muslim world, which it says is embroiled in a fight against an imagined “Zionist-Crusader” conspiracy.
The photos below were all posted on Twitter hours after the US air strikes.