al-Nusra Front Syria
Fighters from al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra stand among destroyed buildings south of Damascus. Rami Al-Sayed/ AFP/Getty Images

US air strikes targeted al-Qaeda linked groups in Syria, killing several fighters including a French bomb expert, according to monitors and military sources.

A US predator drone targeted David Drugeon, a French-born 24-year-old Muslim convert and suspected member of the jihadist Khorasan group, as he was travelling in a vehicle in the northwestern Idlib province, Fox News reported.

The media outlet quoted a "well-placed military source" as saying that Drugeon was killed in the strike. The Pentagon could not immediately confirm his death.

The jihadi was born in 1989 in the Breton town of Vannes, into a working class family and Drugeon's mother was a devout Catholic. He gre up in neighbourhood was ethnically and religiously diverse, with many North Africans. Close to his brother and an avid soccer fan, Drugeonwas a typical young French boy until 2002, when his world fell apart when his parents divorced. He was thirteen. According to reports, Drugeon filled the void in his shattered life with extremist religion.

Khorasan is believed to be a splinter group of Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda-backed jihadist group that has long been involved in the Syrian civil war.

It rose to international prominence in September, as the US claimed it was planning an "imminent attack" on American soil.

US president Barack Obama said members of the cell were subsequently targeted by air strikes, in what was the first major offensive against a group other than the Islamic State (Isis) in Iraq and Syria.

The second was reported today. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that US-led forces bombed al-Nusra militants in the town of Sarmada and the city Harim - both in Idlib province.

"Coalition warplanes targeted vehicle for Jabhat al-Nusra in Sarmada town near Syria-Turkey borders, and its HQ in Harim city, reports of human losses, including 2 children," the activist group said.

Another six suspect al-Nusra fighters were killed in an overnight strike west of Aleppo, the group added.

The attacks came days after the extremist group seized control of large swathes of land in Idlib province, routing the US-backed groups the Syrian Revolutionaries Front (SFR) and Harakat Hazm.

Washington relied on SFR and Harakat Hazm to counter Isis (Islamic State) militants on the ground in Syria, complementing its air strikes.

It has thus been supplying them with heavy weapons, including TOW anti-tank missiles in recent months, part of which were stolen by al-Nusra.