Tags: Al-Qaida | Syria | Khorasan | Pentagon | airstrikes | terror | al-Qaida

Pentagon Uncertain If Airstrikes Crippled Khorasan Group

By    |   Monday, 20 Oct 2014 04:49 PM

It remains unclear whether a series of targeted airstrikes have been successful in knocking out the small but fierce Khorasan terror group in Syria, the National Journal reported, citing a Pentagon report from last week that called such efforts to weaken the cell "a work in progress."

"We remain focused on this, and as we gain better information, we will maintain pressure on that organization," said Gen. Lloyd Austin, who heads the military's U.S. Central Command.

The military engaged a series of eight targeted strikes last month geared at crippling the group, which was thought to be at work on its own plot against U.S. interests, the Journal noted.

The strikes were designed to destroy "training camps, an explosives and munitions production facility, a communications building, and command and control facilities," the Journal reported, citing a statement from Central Command released Sept. 23.

"We do believe that we definitely degraded, damaged, destroyed some of their capabilities," Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby noted, according to the Journal.

The little-known terrorist organization is thought to have ties to al-Qaida leadership in Pakistan and Afghanistan, according to the Journal. Just how imminent its planning against the West had become is also not known, although experts believe that the group, located in western Syria, remains a threat.

Some media outlets, including The Christian Science Monitor, have reported that the Khorasan Group's leader was killed in last month's attacks.

The Monitor noted that a Twitter post from a known al-Qaida member shared news that senior leader Mohsin al-Fadhli had been killed in the raid. The Monitor cited a report about the Tweet from the SITE monitoring service.

Other media accounts have suggested that the group's organization and its imminent threat to the West could have been ginned up by the White House as a way to justify U.S. attacks in the region, which occurred without Congressional approval, the National Review reported.

Noted the Review's Andrew C. McCarthy: "It is true that Obama critics have questioned whether the White House invented the threat from the 'Khorasan Group.' Still, this conflates two things that should be scrutinized separately: (a) whether there really was a threat, and (b) whether there really is a 'Khorasan Group' as represented by administration officials. Many of us who reject the latter are less skeptical about the former."

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It remains unclear whether a series of targeted airstrikes have been successful in knocking out the small but fierce Khorasan terror group in Syria, the National Journal reported.
Khorasan, Pentagon, airstrikes, terror, al-Qaida
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2014-49-20
Monday, 20 Oct 2014 04:49 PM
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