Marion Bae, FISM News
The U.S. military successfully carried out an airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday, killing a senior al-Qaeda leader. There were no civilian casualties indicated following the strike.
U.S. military forces used an MQ-9 Reaper drone in Suluk, Syria, close to the Turkish border, to kill Abdul Hamid al-Matar. The U.S. Central Command released a statement Friday, saying “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.”
In this CENTCOM statement U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee also called Syria a “safe haven” for al-Qaeda and its operatives and explained that they use it to “rebuild, coordinate with external affiliates, and plan external operations.”
Al-Matar is the second al-Qaeda leader killed by the U.S. military in recent days, after Salim Abu-Ahmad was confirmed dead in LT Josie Lynne Lenny’s statement of Sep. 20th.
According to The Washington Post, Rigsbee stated in a phone interview that the drone strike on al-Matar was planned before the attack on the U.S. garrison in southern Syria on Wednesday and was not retaliatory.