A senior al Qaeda leader has been killed in an airstrike carried out by the United States, claimed Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook. Abu Afghan Al-Masri was killed near Sarmada, Syria, on November 18, the US Department of Defence said on Tuesday.

Cook said Al-Masri was initially part of the group in Afghanistan, before he moved to the outfit’s affiliate in Syria. He was reportedly from Egypt. “He had ties to terrorist groups operating throughout Southwest Asia including groups responsible for attacking US and coalition forces in Afghanistan and those plotting to attack the West,” Cook said.

He said the successful airstrike “demonstrates continued US determination to target al Qaeda leaders wherever they pose a threat to the US, our allies and interests”.