Senior al-Qaida leader killed in US drone strike in Syria | News | DW | 23.10.2021

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Senior al-Qaida leader killed in US drone strike in Syria

Abdul Hamid al-Matar's death has been confirmed by the US military. It comes two days after a US outpost in Syria was attacked.

A US military drone is seen oflying over Syria.

Al-Matar was killed in a drone strike using an MQ-9 aircraft

The US military announced late Friday it had killed a senior al-Qaida leader during a drone strike near the Suluk town in Syria.

"A US airstrike today in northwest Syria killed senior al-Qaida leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar," Central Command spokesman Army Major John Rigsbee said in a statement. He added it was conducted using an MQ-9 aircraft. 

"The removal of this al-Qaida senior leader will disrupt the terrorist organization's ability to further plot and carry out global attacks threatening US citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians," the statement added.

US outpost attacked

A US outpost in southern Syria was attacked two days ago, but the statement did not say whether the drone strike was carried out in retaliation. 

In September, another al-Qaida commander, Salim Abu-Ahmad, was killed in an airstrike in Idlib in the northwestern province.

"Al-Qaida continues to present a threat to America and our allies. Al-Qaida uses Syria as a safe haven to rebuild, coordinate with external affiliates, and plan external operations," the statement said. 

tg/jsi (AFP, Reuters)

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