by Aaron Santini
edited by Cam Gonsalves
The United States military has claimed a major victory in the war against Syria by taking down al-Qaeda’s second in command, according to the Middle East Eye.
Abu al-Khayr al-Masri was struck and killed in his car by a CIA drone strike. The attack occurred on February 26, 2017 in Idlib, Syria.
Al-Masri was 59 years old. His birth name was Abdullah Muhammad Rajab Abdel Rahman and he was born in Egypt. He had close ties with Osama bin-Laden, who was his brother in law. He also had connections with current al-Qaeda leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri. At the time when Masri was killed, he was second-in-command in al-Qaeda.
A Baghdad-based writer on Islamic groups, Hisham al-Hashimi, stated that Masri’s death will have major ramifications on al-Qaeda. “His death is no less significant than that of Bin Laden [who was killed by a US raid in Pakistan in May 2011]. He was the ideological leader of the group in Iraq, Syria and Yemen and the number two in the organization overall,” said Al-Hashimi, according to the Middle East Eye article.