A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.
Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.
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What they're saying: "The removal of this al-Qaeda senior leader will disrupt the terrorist organization’s ability to further plot and carry out global attacks threatening U.S. citizens, our partners, and innocent civilians," Rigsbee said in the statement.
U.S. Central Command currently has "no indications of civilian casualties."
The strike was conducted using an MQ-9 aircraft.
"The U.S. will continue to target members of al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations who intend to harm the U.S. homeland," Rigsbee added.
The big picture: The airstrike comes days after two drone strikes and some rockets targeted a military outpost in southern Syria that houses U.S. and coalition troops, AP reports.
Officials called it a coordinated attack, though no American soldiers were injured or killed.
Central Command did not address the earlier attack in the Friday statement about al-Matar.
In a separate incident this week, a roadside bomb exploded near Syrian troops and killed at least 13 people in Damascus.
Worth noting: The Biden administration faced backlash earlier this year after the Pentagon admitted a U.S. drone strike in Afghanistan killed 10 civilians instead of an ISIS-K leader as initially claimed.
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