Army Maj. John Rigsbee, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said in a statement that Abdul Hamid al-Matar was killed in the airstrike.
Rigsbee said the killing of al-Matar will disrupt al Qaeda's "ability to further plot and carry out global attacks threatening U.S. citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians." He said al Qaeda "uses Syria as a base for threats reaching into Syria, Iraq and beyond."
The drone strike came two days after a U.S. military outpost in southern Syria was hit by a coordinated attack that included drones and rockets. U.S. officials said no American troops stationed there were injured or killed.