The U.S. military is confirming that an airstrike in Syria by the U.S.-led coalition has killed a top al-Qaida commander.

The Pentagon says a Saudi national known as Sanafi al-Nasr was "a longtime jihadist experienced in funneling money and fighters" for the terrorist network.

A statement from the U.S. Defense Department says coalition forces conducted the airstrike on Thursday over northwest Syria.

The U.S. says he was a leading figure in the Khorasan group — a secretive cell of al-Qaida operatives who U.S. officials say were sent from Pakistan to Syria to plot attacks against the West.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter says the military operation "deals a significant operation" to the Khorasan group's plans to attack the U.S. and its allies.