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Al-Qaeda deputy leader reportedly killed in Syria

WASHINGTON : The US government is investigating if Al-Qaeda's No. 2 has been killed in Syria, amid reports of a US air strike in or around the city of Idlib.

The official told AFP that agencies are working to confirm if Abu Khayr al-Masri is dead, in what would be a major counter-terrorism coup for US President Donald Trump so early in his presidency.

Al-Masri, a son-in-law of dead Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, is believed to be deputy to the group's current leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri. "Certainly if the reports are true, it would be welcome news," said Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis.

Egypt-born al-Masri, 59, is one of Al-Qaeda's most prominent figures to have roots in the era before the 9/11 attacks on the US, according to private security and intelligence consultancy Soufan Group.

"It was in al-Masri's guest house in Kabul, Afghanistan, that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed briefed top Al-Qaeda leaders about the planning of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks," the Soufan Group said.

- AFP

terrorismSyriaunited states