Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook on Strike against Al-Qaeda Leader

U.S. forces conducted a precision airstrike near Sarmada, Syria, on Nov. 18 that killed Abu Afghan al-Masri, a senior al-Qaeda in Syria leader. Al-Masri, an Egyptian, originally joined al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and later moved to its Syrian affiliate. 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. Al-Masri’s removal from the battlefield represents another blow to al-Qaeda in Syria, and demonstrates continued U.S. determination to target al-Qaeda leaders wherever they pose a threat to the U.S., our allies and interests.