A U.S. drone strike in Kabul kills Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda’s leader since the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011. The airstrike is also the first U.S. military action in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan last year.
The United States killed al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike, President Joe Biden said Monday in a speech from the White House. “I authorized a precision strike that would remove him from the battlefield, once and for all,” Biden said.
US conducted the drone strike at 9:48 p.m. ET on Saturday which was authorized by Biden following weeks of meetings with his Cabinet and key advisers, no American personnel were on the ground in Kabul at the time of the strike. Zawahiri, who just turned 71 years old, had remained a visible international symbol of the group, 11 years after the US killed Osama bin Laden. At one point, he acted as bin Laden’s personal physician. Zawahiri was sheltering in downtown Kabul to reunite with his family, Biden said, and was killed in what a senior administration official described as “a precise tailored airstrike” using two Hellfire missiles.