U.S. airstrike in Syria kills al Qaeda senior leader, Pentagon says

A U.S. airstrike in Syria killed a senior leader of al Qaeda Friday, according to U.S. Central Command. 

The strike — carried out by an MQ-9 aircraft — took out Abdul Hamid al-Matar, according to a U.S. Central Command spokesman Army Major John Rigsbee. 

“The removal of this al Qaeda 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 in a statement. 

U.S. Central Command said that early indications did not reveal any civilian casualties as a result of the strike.

This is the second strike the Pentagon has taken against an al Qaeda leader in Syria since September. 

The Pentagon carried out a strike September 20 in Idlib, Syria against a senior al Qaeda leader, according to a U.S. Central Command statement at the time. 

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