Airstrike kills senior al-Qaida leader in Syria, US says

Syrian demonstrators rally in the town of Binnish in Syria's northwestern Idlib province on May 1, 2020, to protest against a reported attack by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an alliance led by a former Al-Qaeda affiliate. (Omar Haj Kadour/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)
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Natalie Lung Bloomberg News (TNS)

A U.S.-led airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaida leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, according to the U.S. Central Command.

The strike was conducted in the vicinity of Suluk using an MQ-9 aircraft, U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee said in a statement. There have been no indications of civilian casualties, he added.

“The removal of this al-Qaida senior leader will disrupt the terrorist organization’s ability to further plot and carry out global attacks threatening U.S. citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians,” Rigsbee said.


The strike follows another counter-terrorism operation in Idlib, Syria last month, where U.S. forces struck a senior al-Qaida leader which they didn’t identify.


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