US military says it killed al-Qaida leader in drone strike


FILE – In this May 23, 2021, file photo, the Syria national flag is displayed at a gathering at Omayyid Square in the Syrian capital Damascus, Syria. Two roadside bombs exploded near a bus carrying troops during the morning rush hour in the Syrian capital early Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, killing 13 people and wounding three others, state TV reported. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military says it killed a senior al-Qaida leader in an airstrike Friday in northwest Syria.

Army Maj. John Rigsbee, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said in a statement that Abdul Hamid al-Matar was killed by a drone strike.

Rigsbee said the killing of al-Matar will disrupt al-Qaida’s “ability to further plot and carry out global attacks threatening U.S. citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians.” He said al-Qaida “uses Syria as a base for threats reaching into Syria, Iraq and beyond.”

The drone strike came two days after a U.S. military outpost in southern Syria was hit by a coordinated attack that included drones and rockets. U.S. officials said no American troops stationed there were injured or killed.

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