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​A US airstrike in Syria on Jan. 12 killed a senior al Qaeda facilitator, the Pentagon announced on Jan. 19. Abd al-Jalil al-Muslimi, who was originally trained by the Taliban in the late 1990s and facilitated travel for al Qaeda, was killed in the strike near Saraqib. “He had extensive and long-standing ties to numerous al Qaida external operations planners and terrorists,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said in a statement. The strike will help degrade al Qaeda’s access to veteran plotters and help disrupt future plans, the Pentagon said.