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Airstrike Kills Senior al-Qaida Leader in Syria

An airstrike Monday killed a senior leader in the Syrian Islamist group that split from al-Qaida earlier this year.

Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, the group formally known as Jabhat al-Nusra, said Abu al-Farai al-Masri was killed when his vehicle was struck in the northwestern Idlib province.

The U.S. military says it carried out an airstrike in the area targeting Masri, but that officials were still assessing the results.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said the Egyptian national Masri had ties to former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, who was killed by U.S. special forces in Pakistan in 2011. Masri was also a companion of now-deceased al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri.

"His death, if confirmed, would disrupt and degrade coordination among senior AQ leaders and extremists," Cook said in a statement.

Source: Voice of America