U.S. defense officials on Thursday confirmed that a senior Al Qaeda member was killed in a drone strike in Syria that was conducted on September 20, at the province of Idlib.

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) spokesman, Army Major John Rigsbee said that the senior Al Qaeda member killed in the attack was identified as Salim Abu-Ahmad, The Daily Mail reported. Rigsbee went on to say that Abu-Ahmad was the one responsible for the funding, planning, and approving trans-regional attacks of the militant group.

READ NEXT: Pentagon Contradicts Pres. Joe Biden on Claims Al Qaeda 'Gone' in Afghanistan, Taliban Letting Americans Reach Airport

Senior Al Qaeda Member Killed in Drone Strike

The target of the drone strike on September 20 was reported to be in a vehicle traveling on a rural road in rebel-controlled territory. However, the identity of the target was not confirmed until Thursday.

Navy Lieutenant Josie Lynne Lenny said in a statement that initial indication showed that they struck their target person. Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that the target vehicle was carrying a militant linked with Al Qaeda.

Also known as White Helmets, the Civil Defense team further noted that the unidentified body was lifted from the car that was located along the Idlib-Binnish road, east of Idlib, Syria. The vehicle was reported to be cut in half and laid on the side of the rural road in an orchid.

Navy Lieutenant Lenny and Army Major Rigsbee underscored that there were no casualties in the recent drone attack.

"There are no indications of civilian casualties as a result of the strike," Rigsbee pointed out, adding that the recent drone attack in Syria continues the operations of the United States to "degrade" the networks of militant groups, as well as focus on terrorist leaders that plan to attack the U.S. and its allies abroad.

According to reports, a large part of Idlib and its neighboring province, Aleppo is still in the hands of the militant groups including the Al Qaida linked to Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Idlib and Aleppo were known to house at least four million civilians which were displaced from previous violence in the country's 10-year conflict.

The drone attack in Idlib, Syria on September 20 was not the first time. It can be recalled that Abu Bakr-Baghdadi was targeted when he was also hiding in the said province after he fled from eastern Syria.

Military Leaders Caution on Al Qaeda's Return

The drone strike in Idlib, Syria came days after U.S. military leaders warned that Al Qaeda could strengthen their group in Afghanistan and threaten the United States in a year, The Washington Examiner reported.

The comments came from a roster of military leaders including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie, and Joints Chief of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, as they testified before a Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

"A reconstituted Al Qaeda or ISIS with the aspiration to attack the United States is a very real possibility," Milley warned, adding that the event could happen within the next 12 to 36 months.

Milley also admitted that Afghanistan pull-out made it "more difficult" for them to gather "intelligence, surveillance, [and] reconnaissance find fix functions."

Despite announcing the threat Al Qaeda brings to the U.S., the chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff said that it was "too early to tell" if there was a greater threat in Afghanistan.

"Over-the-horizon operations are difficult but absolutely possible," Austin underscored.

READ NEXT: Ex-Obama CIA Director Calls on Biden Administration to Investigate the Afghanistan Drone Strike

This article is owned by Latin Post

Written By: Joshua Summers

WATCH: Top General Warns of Al Qaeda Resurgence - From CBS Evening News