WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon says a U.S. airstrike in Syria this month killed what the Defense Department describes as a senior al-Qaida leader who once had ties to Osama bin Laden.
A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, identifies the target as Haydar Kirkan. The spokesman says Kirkan oversaw the planning of attacks against Western targets outside of Syria, including in Turkey.
Davis says a U.S. drone carried out the airstrike Oct. 17 in the vicinity of Idlib, in western Syria.
The U.S. has previously announced that in the week after that airstrike, it hit al-Qaida targets in Yemen and Afghanistan.