The United States killed Ayman al-Zawahri, who became the leader of al Qaeda after Osama bin Laden’s death, in a CIA-led drone strike over the weekend, according to multiple reports.
The Associated Press was the first to report Zawahiri’s death, citing a source close to the matter. Unnamed U.S. officials subsequently confirmed the strike to Reuters, The Washington Post, and Politico. Few other details were immediately made public.
A Taliban spokesperson confirmed that a strike had taken place, according to Reuters. He condemned the move in a statement, calling it a violation of “international principles.”
The White House declined to comment except to say in a statement that the U.S. “conducted a counterterrorism operation against a significant al Qaeda target in Afghanistan. The operation was successful and there were no civilian casualties.”
President Joe Biden is expected to give a speech on the operation at 7:30 p.m. Monday. He will speak from the balcony off the White House Blue Room as he remains in isolation while he recovers from COVID-19.
Zawahiri was 71. An Egyptian-born physician, he took the reins of the extremist network after bin Laden was killed in 2011.
Source: Yahoo News