US officials withdraw the portrayal that a man killed in a Hellfire missile strike in Syria on May 3 was a “senior al-Qaeda leader”.

Like the drone strike that killed an aid worker’s family after Biden’s bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan, the truth appears to be that the deceased was a poor farmer in a field.

An ordinary civilian

In early May 2023, Pentagon officials boasted of the precision attack carried out with a Predator drone, but even the pro-regime Washington Post is now reporting that they are backing off the claims as there is ample evidence that the man they killed was a very ordinary civilian.

We are no longer sure that we killed a high-ranking AQ leader, a defence official admitted anonymously to the newspaper.

Another also anonymous official admitted that “the attack did not kill the original target” as well, but they “believe the person belonged to al-Qaeda”.

Poor all his life

Charles Lister of the Middle East Institute told the Washington Post that the White Helmets were on the scene very quickly after the attack and “identified the person by name and occupation”:

Local people came and said that this guy has always been a farmer. He has never participated in political activity; he has never had any connection with armed groups.

The Washington Post identified the victim as 56-year-old Lotfi Hassan Misto and interviewed eight people, including his brother and son who insisted he was an ordinary man with ten children who had “been poor all his life”.

If they claim that he was a terrorist or that they have taken someone from al-Qaeda, they are all liars, said Misto’s brother.

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