Aug. 31 (UPI) -- The U.S. military said it conducted a strike in Syria against al-Qaida leaders in the rebel-held Idlib province, located in the north west of the country.
The U.S. Central Command released a statement Saturday saying forces conduced a strike earlier in the day on a facility north of Idlib City.
The statement said the facility was believed to be housing al-Qaida leaders "responsible for attacks threatening U.S. citizens, our partners and innocent civilians."
"Additionally, the removal of this facility will further degrade their ability to conduct future attacks and destabilize the region," the statement said. "Northwest Syria remains a safe haven where [al-Qaida in Syria] leaders actively coordinate terrorist activities throughout the region and in the West. With our allies and partners, we will continue to target violent extremists to prevent them from using Syria as a safe haven."
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 40 fighters were killed in the strike, which involved at least seven missile strikes on the area.