Home Air US kills al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar in Reaper strike

US kills al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar in Reaper strike

MQ-9 Reaper
US Air Force file photo of an MQ-9 Reaper

The US military says it has killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar in an air strike in northwest Syria.

According to the US Central Command, the air strike was carried out on October 22 using an MQ-9 remotely-piloted aircraft. The command added there were 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,” CENTCOM spokesperson, US Army Maj. John Rigsbee, said.

He added that Al-Qaeda also uses Syria as a base for threats reaching into Syria, Iraq and beyond.

“The removal of this al-Qaeda 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,” Rigsbee said.

The US carried out the strike just two days after a US military outpost in southern Syria was targeted by unmanned aerial systems and indirect fire, “in a deliberate and coordinated” attack. No US personnel were injured in the attack.