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Top general: Too early to say who was killed in strikes against an al-Qaida cell in Syria

  • Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville, Jr., Director of Operations J3, speaks about the operations in Syria, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, during a news conference at the Pentagon. In a separate action from the air strikes against the Islamic State group, the U.S. bombed a cell of al Qaida militants in northwestern Syria after concluding they were close to attacking the U.S. or Europe, Pentagon officials say. Mayville, the Pentagon’s operations chief, said that the Khorasan Group was nearing “the execution phase of an attack either in Europe or the homeland." (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

    Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville, Jr., Director of Operations J3, speaks about the operations in Syria, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, during a news conference at the Pentagon. In a separate action from the air strikes against the Islamic State group, the U.S. bombed a cell of al Qaida militants in northwestern Syria after concluding they were close to attacking the U.S. or Europe, Pentagon officials say. Mayville, the Pentagon’s operations chief, said that the Khorasan Group was nearing “the execution phase of an attack either in Europe or the homeland." (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)  (The Associated Press)

  • Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville, Jr., Director of Operations J3, speaks about the operations in Syria, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, during a news conference at the Pentagon. In a separate action from the air strikes against the Islamic State group, the U.S. bombed a cell of al Qaida militants in northwestern Syria after concluding they were close to attacking the U.S. or Europe, Pentagon officials say. Mayville, the Pentagon’s operations chief, said that the Khorasan Group was nearing “the execution phase of an attack either in Europe or the homeland." (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

    Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville, Jr., Director of Operations J3, speaks about the operations in Syria, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, during a news conference at the Pentagon. In a separate action from the air strikes against the Islamic State group, the U.S. bombed a cell of al Qaida militants in northwestern Syria after concluding they were close to attacking the U.S. or Europe, Pentagon officials say. Mayville, the Pentagon’s operations chief, said that the Khorasan Group was nearing “the execution phase of an attack either in Europe or the homeland." (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)  (The Associated Press)

  • Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville, Jr., Director of Operations J3, pauses while speaking about the operations in Syria, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, during a news conference at the Pentagon. In a separate action from the air strikes against the Islamic State group, the U.S. bombed a cell of al Qaida militants in northwestern Syria after concluding they were close to attacking the U.S. or Europe, Pentagon officials say. Mayville, the Pentagon’s operations chief, said that the Khorasan Group was nearing “the execution phase of an attack either in Europe or the homeland." (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

    Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville, Jr., Director of Operations J3, pauses while speaking about the operations in Syria, Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, during a news conference at the Pentagon. In a separate action from the air strikes against the Islamic State group, the U.S. bombed a cell of al Qaida militants in northwestern Syria after concluding they were close to attacking the U.S. or Europe, Pentagon officials say. Mayville, the Pentagon’s operations chief, said that the Khorasan Group was nearing “the execution phase of an attack either in Europe or the homeland." (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)  (The Associated Press)

In a separate action from the air strikes against the Islamic State group, the U.S. bombed a cell of al-Qaida militants in northwestern Syria after concluding they were close to attacking the U.S. or Europe, Pentagon officials say.

Gen. William Mayville, the Pentagon's operations chief, told reporters that the Khorasan Group was nearing "the execution phase of an attack either in Europe or the homeland."

The Khorasan Group, which consists of al-Qaida veterans who fought in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is focused on attacking the West, not the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Mayville said.

The general added that it was too early to describe the effects of the eight air strikes against Khorasan Group targets, or say who may have been killed.