Feb 8, 5:38 PM EST

Pentagon: Airstrikes in Syria killed 11 al-Qaida operatives

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon says two U.S. airstrikes in Syria killed 11 al-Qaida operatives, including one with ties to Osama bin Laden and other senior al-Qaida leaders.

A spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, said a single airstrike on Feb. 3 killed 10 operatives in a building used as an al-Qaida meeting site.

A second strike the next day killed Abu Hani al-Masri, identified by the Pentagon as an al-Qaida operative who oversaw the creation and operation of al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan in the 1980s and 1990s. Davis said al-Masri had ties to bin Laden and to Ayman al-Zawahiri, who became the top leader of al-Qaida when bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces in 2011.

Both U.S. airstrikes were near Idlib in northwestern Syria.

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