US Says Drone Strike in Syria Killed Senior al-Qaeda Figure

CENTCOM says al-Qaeda is using Syria as safe haven

CENTCOM issued a statement Friday reporting a drone strike in NW Syria, saying they’d killed Abdul Hamid al-Matar, who they claimed is a “senior all-Qaeda leader.”

As is so often the case when the US kills a wanted man, Matar was not publicized in the past as a major figure in the group. CENTCOM claims he was using Syria as a safe haven, and plotting al-Qaeda’s overseas actions.

Officials say there is no evidence of any civilian casualties in the attack on al-Qaeda. Though a specific site was not named, al-Qaeda is chiefly active in Idlib.

Pentagon officials brought up a recent drone attack against US forces in al-Tanf, Syria, saying that they don’t believe there is any connection between the two strikes. Reports are still pointing to Shi’ites as being involved in that attack.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.