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SARMADA, SYRIA (CBSDFW.COM) – U.S. forces conducted a series of precision airstrikes this week against terrorists in northwestern Syria, killing at least 20 al-Qaida militants, according to Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook.

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On New Year’s Day, U.S. forces struck two al Qaeda vehicles that had departed a large al-Qaida headquarters near Sarmada.

Two days later, U.S. forces struck the headquarters compound itself, including multiple vehicles and structures. Al-Qaida foreign terrorist fighter networks used the headquarters as a gathering place, according to the Pentagon and their leaders directed terrorist operations out of it.

Although the Pentagon is still assessing the results of the strikes, their initial assessment is that the strikes killed five al-Qaida militants and destroyed two vehicles on Jan. 1, and killed more than 15 al-Qaida militants and destroyed , six vehicles, and nine structures on Jan. 3.

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Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said the agency is confident the strikes will degrade al-Qaida’s ability to direct operations in Syria.

Al-Qaida remains committed to carrying out terrorist attacks against the United States and the West. The Pentagon said it’s determined to continue to take action to deny any terrorist safe haven in Syria.

Nor will they allow al-Qaida to grow its capacity to attack the United States or its allies around the world.

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