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Drone strike in Syria's Idlib kills two al-Qaeda affiliate leaders: Report

US-led international coalition denies it was behind attack that killed the Hurras al-Deen commanders in their car
The United States carried out several attacks against militants in Idlib province last year (AFP)

A drone attack in northwestern Syria killed two commanders of an al-Qaeda-affiliated group on Sunday, a UK-based activist group has said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack on Syria's last major rebel bastion of Idlib could have been carried out by the United States.

However, a spokesman for the US-led international coalition battling militants in Syria and Iraq told AFP that the coalition "has not conducted any air strikes in northwestern Syria in recent weeks".

Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said a Jordanian military commander and another of Yemeni nationality from the Hurras al-Deen group were killed when a missile fired from a drone hit their car.

The Idlib region is currently home to some three million people and is dominated by the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group led by Syria's former al-Qaeda affiliate, but other militants including Hurras al-Deen and rebel groups are also present.

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Last year, the US carried out several attacks against militants in Idlib province.

Fighters in the region have also been targeted by air strikes conducted by the Syrian government and its Russian allies.

A truce brokered by Russia and rebel backer Turkey has kept Syrian and Russian warplanes out of the region's skies and has largely held since it went into effect in March.

The war in Syria has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced nearly half of the country's pre-war population since it started in 2011.

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