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U.S. military officials are walking back a claim that a senior al Qaeda leader was killed in a recent drone strike in Syria, a senior U.S. defense official confirmed to Fox News.
The story was first reported by the Washington Post.
The family of 56-year-old Lotfi Hassan Misto identified him as the person killed by the American missile on May 3, according to the Post.
U.S. Central Command, or CENTCOM, oversaw the operation and released a statement on the day of the strike saying it conducted a strike “targeting a senior Al Qaeda leader.”
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An MQ-9 Reaper remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) flies by during a training mission. (Isaac Brekken/Getty Images)
No other details were provided and the identify of the person killed was not revealed.
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Misto’s family claims he had no ties to terrorist organizations and was tending to his sheep when he was killed.
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Misto’s family told the Post he was a father of 10 who lived quietly in a town in northwest Syria and spent much of his life in poverty.
Jennifer Griffin currently serves as a national security correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) and is based out of the Washington D.C. bureau. She joined the network in October 1999 as a Jerusalem-based correspondent.