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Senior Qaeda Leader Killed in US Drone Strike in Syria


Asharq Al-Awsat


A senior al-Qaeda leader was killed in a US drone strike in Syria, the Pentagon said Friday.
The strike comes two days after a base in southern Syria, used by the US-led coalition fighting ISIS, was assaulted.
"A US airstrike today in northwest Syria killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar," said Central Command spokesman Army Major John Rigsbee in a statement.
There were no known casualties from the strike, he said, adding it was conducted using an MQ-9 aircraft.
Rigsbee did not say if the US drone strike was carried out in retaliation to the assault on the Tanf base.
"The removal of this al-Qaeda senior leader will disrupt the terrorist organization's ability to further plot and carry out global attacks," he said.
At the end of September, the Pentagon killed Salim Abu-Ahmad, another senior Al-Qaeda commander in Syria, in an airstrike near Idlib in the country's northwest.
He had been responsible for "planning, funding, and approving trans-regional Al-Qaeda attacks," according to Centcom.
"Al-Qaeda continues to present a threat to America and our allies. Al-Qaeda uses Syria as a safe haven to rebuild, coordinate with external affiliates, and plan external operations," Rigsbee said.

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