Senior Al-Qaeda Leader Killed in US Strike in Syria: CENTCOM

By Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly
Reporter
Mimi Nguyen Ly is an assignment editor and world news reporter based in Australia. She has a background in optometry. Contact her at mimi.nl@epochtimes.com.
October 22, 2021 Updated: October 24, 2021

A U.S. military drone strike in northwest Syria has killed a senior al-Qaeda leader on Oct. 22, the U.S. Central Command announced.

Abdul Hamid al-Matar was killed in the vicinity of the town of Suluk, U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee, a CENTCOM spokesperson, said in a statement. The strike was conducted using an MQ-9 aircraft—an armed, remotely piloted aircraft.

There are “no indications of civilian casualties as a result of the strike.”

“Al-Qaeda continues to present a threat to America and our allies. Al-Qaeda uses Syria as a safe haven to rebuild, coordinate with external affiliates, and plan external operations. Al-Qaeda also uses Syria as a base for threats reaching into Syria, Iraq, and beyond,” Rigsbee said in the statement.

“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.

“The U.S. will continue to target members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations who intend to harm the U.S. homeland.”

The strike occurred two days after a base housing U.S. troops in southern Syria was attacked.

It’s unclear whether the Oct. 22 drone strike was carried out in retaliation.

Mimi Nguyen Ly
Mimi Nguyen Ly is an assignment editor and world news reporter based in Australia. She has a background in optometry. Contact her at mimi.nl@epochtimes.com.