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.

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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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