The US military says it killed a senior al-Qaeda leader in an airstrike Friday in northwestern Syria.

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US Central Command spokesman Army Major John Rigsby said in a statement that Abdul Hamid al-Matar was killed in a drone strike.

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Rigsby said the killing of al-Matar would impede al-Qaeda’s ability to “prevent and carry out global attacks that threaten American citizens, our allies and innocent civilians.” He added that al-Qaeda “uses Syria as a base for threats reaching Syria, Iraq and beyond.”

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This photo taken on February 15, 2020 shows a view of an empty stretch of highway connecting the northern Syrian city of Aleppo with the capital Damascus, occupied by rebel fighters about 20 kilometers east of Aleppo.

The drone strike comes two days after a US military post in southern Syria was hit by a coordinated attack, including drones and rockets. US officials said none of the American soldiers stationed there were injured or killed.