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Pentagon: Senior Al-Qaida Member Killed in Syria

  • VOA News

FILE - A U.S. Predator unmanned drone armed with a missile is seen at a military airport in a June 13, 2010, photo .

FILE - A U.S. Predator unmanned drone armed with a missile is seen at a military airport in a June 13, 2010, photo .

The Pentagon says a senior al-Qaida external operations planner was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Syria.

A "long-serving facilitator and courier" for al-Qaida who had ties to Osama bin Laden and other senior leaders, Haydar Kirkan, was killed on October 17 in Idlib province, Captain Jeff Davis said at a news briefing in Washington.

Kirkan was "somebody we were targeting based upon his proven track record" and he was "actively engaged in planning external operations" with responsibilities in Syria, Turkey, and Europe, according to the Pentagon.

Davis went on to warn that al-Qaida has boosted its presence in Syria.

"Al-Qaida remains a trans-regional organization," he said. "They are capable of moving around."

VOA National Security Correspondent Jeff Seldin contributed to this report.

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