U.S. forces launched two airstrikes in Syria that killed 11 al-Qaeda militants, including a top leader, the Pentagon announced Wednesday. The strikes were conducted Friday and Saturday near Idlib in western Syria. Saturday’s airstrike killed Abu Hani al-Masri, described in a Pentagon statement as a “legacy al-Qaeda terrorist” who had ties to al-Qaeda

leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. Bin Laden was killed in a 2011 raid by U.S. forces in Pakistan, and Zawahiri replaced him. “Al-Masri oversaw the creation and operation of many al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan in the 1980s and ’90s, where he recruited, indoctrinated, trained and equipped thousands of terrorists who subsequently spread throughout the region and the world,” the Pentagon statement said. READ MORE