Syria: Senior al-Qaeda commander, 10 operatives, killed in US strike

Al-Qaeda’s leadership in Syria took a serious hit when a senior commander and 10 operatives were killed in US drone attacks. 

The Pentagon announced on Wednesday two US airstrikes in Syria that killed 11 al-Qaeda operatives, including a long-time worker with ties to Osama bin Laden and other senior al-Qaeda leaders.

A spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, said one airstrike on February 3 killed 10 operatives in a building used as an al-Qaeda meeting site.

A second strike the next day killed Abu Hani al-Masri, identified by the Pentagon as an al-Qaeda operative who oversaw the creation and operation of al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan in the 1980s and 1990s. Davis said al-Masri had ties to bin Laden and to Ayman al-Zawahiri, who became the top leader of al-Qaeda when bin Laden was killed by US forces in 2011.

The Pentagon also said al-Masri was one of the founders of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the first Muslim terror group to use suicide bombers in its attacks.

Both US airstrikes were near Idlib in northwestern Syria.

“These strikes disrupt al Qaeda’s ability to plot and direct external attacks targeting the US and our interests worldwide,” Davis stated.

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The US recently executed several successful strikes against the Islamic terror group.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff