Lhe target of the “successful counterterrorism operation” in Afghanistan announced by a senior US official on Monday was al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who was killed over the weekend in a drone strike, according to reports. American media.
Zawahiri, considered the mastermind of the September 11 attacks which killed nearly 3,000 people in the United States, took over as head of the terrorist organization after the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011, killed by an American commando in Pakistan.
President Joe Biden is due to speak at 7:30 p.m. (2330 GMT) for a televised address about a “successful counterterrorism operation,” according to the White House, which did not provide further details.
A senior US administration official also said that the United States over the weekend carried out a “counter-terrorism operation against a major target within al-Qaeda” in Afghanistan, without mentioning Ayman al-Zawahiri. “The operation was successful and caused no civilian casualties,” the source told reporters.
A drone strike
According to American media, Ayman al-Zawahiri may have been killed by a drone strike carried out in the Afghan capital Kabul by the CIA.
The State Department was offering up to $25 million in rewards for information leading to the arrest or conviction of the al-Qaeda leader.
This announcement comes almost a year after the chaotic withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, which had allowed the Taliban to regain control of the country twenty years later. The United States had also announced in mid-July that it had killed the leader of the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria, Maher al-Agal, during a drone strike, an operation which had “considerably weakened the capacity of the “IS to prepare, finance and conduct its operations in the region”, according to a spokesman for the American army.