He had ties to terrorist groups operating throughout Southwest Asia ..."
Washington (ANTARA News) - The U.S. Ministry of Defense on Tuesday confirmed that a senior al Qaeda leader was killed in a U.S. air strike near Sarmada, Syria, last week.

Abu Afghan Al-Masri, an Egyptian who joined al Qaeda in Afghanistan and later moved to Syria, died on Nov. 18, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook told reporters.

"He had ties to terrorist groups operating throughout Southwest Asia including groups responsible for attacking U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan and those plotting to attack the West," said Cook.

The United States has carried out sporadic strikes in the past against veteran al-Qaeda members who migrated to northwestern Syria from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Earlier this month, U.S. President Obama ordered the Pentagon to deploy more drones and intelligence assets against an al-Qaeda-linked military group in Syria, formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra and now called Jabhat Fatah al-Sham -- or Front for the Conquest of Syria.

The move highlights Obamas concern that it is turning parts of Syria into a new base of operations for al-Qaeda on Europes southern doorstep, local media says.

During his campaign, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said he would be even more aggressive in going after extreme militants than Obama, Xinhua reported.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
Copyright © ANTARA 2016