Eleven al-Qaida operatives have been killed in US airstrikes in Syria, including a top leader, the Pentagon has announced.
Abu Hani al-Masri was killed in the February 4 strike near Idlib in the north of the country.
The Pentagon said al-Masri oversaw the creation and operation of many of the militant group’s training camps in Afghanistan in the 80s and 90s.
He also had close ties to Osama bin Laden and current leader, Ayman al-Zawahri. The Pentagon said, “These strikes disrupt al-Qaida’s ability to plot and direct external attacks targeting the U.S. and our interests worldwide.”
The US counter-terror strikes are separate from the broader US-led coalition targeting the so-called Islamic State in Syria.