- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

While a coalition of U.S. and Arab military forces struck at Islamic State targets inside Syria on Monday night, the Pentagon also engaged in a U.S.-exclusive action targeting a little-known al Qaeda-aligned group that U.S. officials say is plotting an “imminent attack” against the United States.

Pentagon officials revealed in a statement Tuesday morning that U.S. Central Command acted apart from its allies by conducting eight specific strikes against the outfit, known as the Khorasan Group, which the officials described as “a network of seasoned al-Qaeda veterans.”

The group had “established a safe haven in Syria to develop external attacks, construct and test improvised explosive devices and recruit Westerners to conduct operations,” the Pentagon said.

“In total, U.S. Central Command conducted eight strikes against Khorasan Group targets west of Aleppo to include training camps, an explosives and munitions production facility, a communication building and command and control facilities,” the Pentagon said. “These strikes were undertaken only by U.S. assets.”

The Khorasan Group’s operations have been notoriously shrouded in mystery in Syria and beyond. Intelligence community sources have said that its fighters operate in secrecy, apart from other jihadist elements in the Middle East and Asia. The group’s name draws from a historical region nestled between Afghanistan, Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, according to published reports.

Monday night’s exclusive U.S. bombing action against the group occurred while an allied coalition including Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates conducted U.S.-led airstrikes against 14 separate Islamic State targets inside Syria, military officials said.

SEE ALSO: Pentagon: ‘We believe we hit what we were aiming at’ against Islamic State in Syria

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