A car exploded in northern Syria near the Turkish border with news reports suggesting it was targeted by a US drone strike on a mission to assassinate a senior leader of the militant Guardians of Religion Organization, which is an offshoot of al-Qaeda.
The vehicle was attacked along the Idlib-Binnish road east of Idlib province.
“An unidentified drone, believed to be affiliated to the international coalition, attacked a vehicle on the road between Binnish and Idlib city in Idlib countryside,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor.
According to sources cited by the monitor, a “militant commander” was driving the vehicle when the attack took place.
“No further details were reported on the identity of the commander or the exact number of people who were in the car, as plumes of smoke were seen after the car burned down due to the drone attack,” said the Observatory.
On August 24, Observatory activists documented the death of eight fighters from Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in an explosion believed to be caused by an artillery shell under unknown circumstances.
The explosion took place at an HTS training camp around the Scientific Research Center near Ram Hamadan village in Idlib countryside.
Other than the eight killed, ten HTS fighters sustained various injuries due to the explosion.
According to sources, an armed drone of the international coalition was flying over the region when the explosion occurred.
However, other sources claimed that the explosion was caused by a mistake committed during military drills in the camp.
The US has carried out attacks in Idlib before, targeting al-Qaeda militants and the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was hiding in the province after fleeing from eastern Syria.
Large parts of Idlib and neighboring Aleppo province remain in the hands of the Syrian armed opposition, dominated by radical groups including the once al-Qaeda-linked HTS.