BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:45 P.M.) – A career jihadist and top Al-Qaeda leader of multiple roles – sheikh, battlefield commander, reciter and trainer – has been killed by the Syrian Arab Army amid ongoing battles in eastern Idlib province.

Abu Hamza al-Masri, a career jihadist of Egyptian nationality and one of the highest ranking Al-Qaeda leaders within the Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham militant group, has been killed by a Syrian Army artillery strike in eastern Idlib province.

The specific site of al-Masri’s death was the Abu Duhur airbase (currently held by militant groups). The Syrian Army shelling targeted a meeting of jihadist commanders on the installation among which he was present.

Abu Hamza al-Masri’s career has involved many roles in the service Al-Qaeda including religious leader, battlefield commander, jihadist recruiter and trainer.

Prior to joining ranks with Jabhat al-Nusra (the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda, now called Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham) six years ago (right after spending 16 years in an Egyptian prison), al-Masri operated in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In Syria, al-Masri was injured in western Aleppo and lost his ability to walk; in any case he still continued to train other jihadists.

His death appears to have happened several days ago, but has only now just been confirmed as fact.

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