Reports: Al Qaida’s No. 2 killed in U.S. drone strike in Syria

by WorldTribune Staff, February 27, 2017

Al Qaida’s second in command was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Syria on Feb. 26, according to reports.

Reports said that Abu Khayr al-Masri was killed while traveling in a car near the town of Al-Mastoumeh in Idlib province.

Abu Khayr al-Masri

Al-Masri, said to be the general deputy to Al Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, was wanted by the U.S. for his role in the 1998 bombings of the American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

The 59-year-old Egyptian was reportedly married to a daughter of Osama bin Laden.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported al-Masri’s death, but there has been no official word released by Al Qaida. The Pentagon has yet to comment.

Videos uploaded to social media allegedly show the vehicle al-Masri was in when it was targeted in the drone strike, with people rushing to examine the wreckage.

An American air strike on Jan. 17 killed another Al Qaida leader in northern Syria, Mohammad Habib Boussadoun al-Tunisi, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said.

In November, the U.S.-led international coalition killed Abu Afghan al-Masri, a senior Al Qaida leader in Syria who previously operated in Afghanistan.

In October, the Pentagon said an air strike near Idlib had targeted a Nusra senior leader, Ahmed Salama Mabrouk, an Egyptian also known as Abu Faraj.

Also in October, a United States drone strike in Syria killed Al Qaida member Haydar Kirkan, who had ties to the group’s senior leaders, including bin Laden.