WASHINGTON – The Pentagon says two U.S. airstrikes in Syria killed 11 al-Qaida operatives, including one with ties to Osama bin Laden and other senior al-Qaida leaders.
A spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, said a single airstrike on Feb. 3 killed 10 operatives in a building used as an al-Qaida meeting site.
A second strike the next day killed Abu Hani al-Masri, identified by the Pentagon as an al-Qaida operative who oversaw the creation and operation of al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan in the 1980s and 1990s. Davis said al-Masri had ties to bin Laden and to Ayman al-Zawahiri, who became the top leader of al-Qaida when bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in 2011.
Both U.S. airstrikes were near Idlib in northwestern Syria.