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Pentagon Confirms Death of Top al-Qaida Operative


FILE - Civil defense workers and Syrian citizens inspect damage to buildings after airstrikes hit a market area in Idlib, Syria, June. 12, 2016.

FILE - Civil defense workers and Syrian citizens inspect damage to buildings after airstrikes hit a market area in Idlib, Syria, June. 12, 2016.

The Pentagon on Thursday confirmed the death of a prominent al-Qaida leader who was targeted this week in a coalition airstrike in Syria.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said a U.S. strike near Idlib on Monday killed Abu al-Farai al-Masri.

Idlib, Syria

Idlib, Syria

Cook called al-Masri's death "a significant disruption to al-Qaida senior leadership" and "a blow to their ability to plot external attacks."

The Pentagon announced the strike shortly after it occurred Monday but took three days to verify that the target had been killed.

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    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her datelines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea.

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