The number two of the terrorist network Al Qaeda, Abdullah Muhammad Rajab Abd al-Rahman, also known as Ahmad Hasan Abu al-Khayr al-Masri, was killed in a drone attack in northwest Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
“The Sheikh is the number two Ayman al-Zawahiri” said al-Qaeda leader Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Observatory, based in London and relies on information provided by activists on the ground.
Al-Masri, the son-in-law of the late Bin Laden, was riding in a car that was hit by a missile launched from a drone, sources told The Guardian newspaper.
An American drone would have been attacked near a military base in Al Mastoume, in the rural area of Idlib province, activists said.
The Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (Hanging Liberation Agency) group issued a statement announcing Al Masri’s death in “an attack by the Crusader coalition”.
The group is a new alliance formed by the front Fatah al-Sham, formerly known as Al Nusra Front and affiliated with Al Qaeda.
Syrian news websites also reported on the death and images on the Internet showed a car partially destroyed, although there is still no official confirmation of the news.
Egyptian Al Masri, 59 years old, had been in Syria for some time. In July of 2015 he published an audio message in which he saluted the official separation of the Al Nusra Front of Al Qaeda. He had ties to Al Qaeda leaders, including Ayman al-Zawahiri and the late Bin Laden, according to the Pentagon.
In the past two months the international coalition led by the United States carried out attacks with drones and aerial bombardment against targets linked to Al Qaeda in the province of Idlib.
Earlier this month another senior member of the organization, Abu Hani al-Masri, was killed in a series of precision attacks in Syria, according to the US Defense Department.
According to the statement, in attacks near Idlib on February 3 and 4, a total of 11 Al Qaeda operatives died.
The extremists are excluded from high fire force since late December in Syria.