US military claims airstrike killed top al Qaeda official

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A senior al-Qaeda official was killed in a drone strike in northwestern Syria on Friday, according to the US military.

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

Rigsbee said the murder of al-Matar would disrupt al-Qaeda’s “ability to pursue and carry out global attacks threatening American citizens, our partners and innocent civilians.” He said al-Qaeda “is using Syria as a base for threats reaching Syria, Iraq and beyond.”

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The drone strike came two days after a US military outpost in southern Syria was hit by a coordinated attack that included drones and rockets. US officials said no US troops stationed there were injured or killed.

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