US Airstrike in Northwest Syria Kills Senior al-Qaida Leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar
A US airstrike in northwest Syria killed a senior al-Qaida leader. US Central Command announced the assassination of Abdul Hamid al-Matar in an airstrike on Friday. There were no civilian casualties, according to US Army Major John Rigsbee, a CENTCOM spokesman. “Al-Qaida continues to present a threat to America and our allies. Al-Qaida uses Syria as a safe haven to rebuild, coordinate with external affiliates, and plan external operations. Al-Qaida also uses Syria as a base for threats reaching into Syria, Iraq and beyond. The removal of this al-Qaida senior leader will disrupt the terrorist organization’s ability to further plot and carry out global attacks threatening US citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians,” the statement said, adding: “The US will continue to target members of al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations who intend to harm the US homeland.” The airstrike comes two days after a military base in southern Syria used by US troops to fight against the Islamic State was attacked. No American soldiers stationed at the base were injured or killed in that attack.