U.S.-led drone attack kills 17 in Syria's Idlib near Turkish border

A drone attack by the United States targeting a meeting of rebel commanders in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib killed 17 people, including civilians, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday.

The U.S. army said on Thursday that it carried out a drone strike against the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), the umbrella group of the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, while they were having a dinner banquet in the village of Jakara in the countryside of Idlib near the Syrian-Turkish border.

SOHR said five civilians were also among those killed.

On Oct. 15, a similar drone attack targeted a vehicle in the western countryside of Idlib, killing two rebels and a child, the war monitor said.

In a 2018 deal between Ankara and Moscow, Turkey agreed to clear the rebel-held province of extremist groups. Damascus maintains that Turkey failed to do so, and started an offensive in April last year to take control in the province with support from Russia. Several Turkish soldiers were killed in Idlib in February following an escalation of the conflict. A ceasefire was declared in March.