Abu Khayr al-Masri, the deputy of Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, was killed in a US drone strike on the city of Idlib in north-western Syria, reports said on Tuesday. Multiple sources confirmed his death, although no definitive proof has been offered.
The Egyptian militant also known as Abdullah Muhammad Rajab Abd al-Rahman was also believed to be a close associate of slain Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and was once the chairman of the terrorist organisation's management council.
There was no immediate comment from the Pentagon.
TRT World's Andrew Hopkins has more details on al-Masri and what his killing means to the United States.
In 2005, the US Treasury Department designated al-Masri as a "terror supporter," saying he "was responsible for coordinating Al Qaeda's work with other terrorist organisations."
Al-Masri's last affiliation before his death was with Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, formerly know as the al-Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria that split from the core group in 2016 with the approval of Al Qaeda leader al-Zawahiri.
Officials of counter-terrorism organisation SITE said that the killing is "another blow to organisation's (Al Qaeda) stance in the country (Syria)."
— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) February 27, 2017