The US has bombed a cell of al-Qaida militants in north-western Syria after concluding they were close to attacking the US or Europe, Pentagon officials have revealed.
General 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 action is separate from the air strikes against the Islamic State group.
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, Gen Mayville said.
He added that it is too early to describe the effects of the eight air strikes against Khorasan Group targets, or to say who may have been killed.