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

Senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar was killed by the US military in a drone strike in Syria, a US Central Command spokesman said.

Damascus (Syria): Senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar was killed by the US military in a drone strike in Syria, a US Central Command spokesman said.

“The removal of this al-Qaeda senior leader (al-Matar) will disrupt the terrorist organisation’s ability to further plot and carry out global attacks threatening US citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians,” US Army Major John Rigsbee said in a written statement on late Friday, Al Jazeera reported.

Rigsbee informed that there were no other known casualties from the strike, which was conducted using an MQ-9 aircraft. It comes two days after a US outpost in southern Syria was attacked.

“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.

However, Rigsbee did not say if the US drone strike was carried out in retaliation for the attack or in which area of Syria the strike was conducted.

In September, the Pentagon also conducted a strike in rebel-controlled northwestern Syria, killing another senior al-Qaeda leader, Salim Abu-Ahmad. The earlier airstrike was conducted near the governorate of Idlib.

first published:Oct. 23, 2021, 2:28 p.m.

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