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Air strike kills senior al Qaeda leader, says U.S. military

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The U.S. military confirmed that a senior al-Qaeda leader was killed in an airstrike on Friday in northwest Syria.

Army Maj. John Rigsbee, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, confirmed in a statement that Abdul Hamid al-Matar was killed in the airstrike.

According to Rigsbee, al-Matar’s death will disrupt the terrorist organization’s “ability to further plot and carry out global attacks threatening U.S. citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians.”

“[al Qaeda] uses Syria as a base for threats reaching into Syria, Iraq and beyond,” Rigsbee added.

The drone strike came just two days after a coordinated attack on a U.S. military outpost in Syria. The attack, which included drones and rockets, saw no casualties as no American troops were stationed at the outpost.

In September, U.S. Central Command confirmed that Salim Abu-Ahmad, another senior al-Qaeda leader, was killed in an airstrike near Idlib, Syria.

“Salim Abu-Ahmad was responsible for planning, funding, and approving trans-regional al-Qaeda attacks,”  Rigsbee told the Military Times, “There are no indications of civilian casualties as a result of the strike. This strike continues U.S. operations to degrade international terrorist networks and target terrorist leaders who seek to attack the U.S. homeland and its interests and allies abroad.”

Earlier this year, amid the Biden administration’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, a U.S. drone strike left 10 Afghans dead, including seven children.

“This strike was taken in the earnest belief that it would prevent an imminent threat to our forces and the evacuees at the airport, but it was a mistake and I offer my sincere apology,” Gen. Frank McKenzie, the top general of US Central Command said, adding that he is “fully responsible for this strike and this tragic outcome.”

The Pentagon previously maintained that at least one ISIS-K facilitator and three civilians were killed in the strike, but an investigation found that all ten victims were civilians.

The Biden administration offered undisclosed payouts and relocation to the United States for the families of those who lost their lives.

President Joe Biden’s continued foreign policy failures on the world stage in conjunction with the administration’s abysmal withdrawal from Afghanistan has left many Americans questioning the accuracy of the information on the airstrikes.

“So they say, but Pentagon under this admin has already proven they’re no better than their ‘commander an chief’ & can’t be believed on anything coming from them,” one woman wrote on Twitter.

“They also said they killed the mastermind behind the bombing at the Kabul airport. So, forgive me if I remain skeptical,” another user said.

“I have zero trust in anything they say,” another added.

Kay Apfel

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