‘Senior al-Qaeda leader’ killed in US strike in Syria: Pentagon
WASHINGTON – Agence France-PresseA U.S. drone strike has killed a senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria who previously operated in Afghanistan, the U.S. Defense Department announced on Nov. 22.
“He had ties to terrorist groups operating throughout Southwest Asia, including groups responsible for attacking U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan and those plotting to attack the West,” Cook said.
Al-Masri was an Egyptian who originally joined al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and later moved to its Syrian affiliate, Cook said.
The Pentagon did not immediately provide further information about Masri, only that he had a “senior leadership role” in al-Qaeda.
“This is someone who helped organize al-Qaeda activities,” Cook said.
He “has been on our radar for some time.”
A U.S.-led coalition is striking the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets in Syria, but has also hit leaders from other groups including the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, which has renamed itself Fatah al-Sham.
In October, the Pentagon said a U.S. air strike near Idlib had targeted a Nusra senior leader, Ahmed Salama Mabrouk, an Egyptian also known by his nom de guerre Abu Faraj.