Al Qaeda deputy leader reportedly killed in Syria
- Author: Leroy Wright Feb 28, 2017,
Feb 28, 2017, 15:19
"As the deputy leader of al-Qaeda globally, the reported death of Abu al-Khayr al-Masri in Syria is the biggest blow to al-Qaeda since the killing of Nasir al-Wuhayshi in Yemen in June 2015", Lister told The Guardian.
Images of the vehicle believed to have been carrying al-Masri showed damage to the passenger compartment of the beige Kia sedan but no damage to the engine block.
The Syrian Observatory, the London-based monitoring group, says 152 members of jihadist groups have been killed in strikes in Syria since January, including 25 commanders.
The 59-year-old Abu al-Khayr al-Masri, the son-in-law of al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, was killed by a drone strike on a auto in Idlib, according to local reports.
An undated image of senior al Qaeda commander Abdullah Muhammad Rajab Abdulrahman, aka Ahmad Hasan Abu al-Khayr al-Masri.
This incident is the second time the USA has killed a figure in the al-Qaeda parent organization this month in Idlib, having killed the similarly-named but unrelated Abu Hani al-Masri earlier this month. He had been part of the global militant organisation since its inception.
Al-Masri was a close associate of bin Laden and was once the chairman of al Qaeda's management council, according to a Washington Post report citing leaked USA intelligence documents dating back to 2008.
He spoke after an opposition delegation met Monday with United Nations mediator Staffan de Mistura to continue talks aimed at resolving Syria's 6-year-old war.
The government insists the talks should start with an agreement on the need to fight terrorism, while the opposition wants to discuss a political transition.
Many Syrian rebels, including groups aligned with al-Qaeda, fled to Idlib after the Assad regime regained control of the city of Aleppo. His group is a coalition of ultra-conservative insurgent factions.
Eleven people were killed during a separate airstrike in the town of Ariha in Idlib province today.
Rahman said rescue teams were still searching the rubble for survivors. The death toll included at least seven civilians, three of them children.
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