According to sources, a US drone that killed Ayman Al Zawahri, the leader of Al Qaeda, on July 31 in Kabul, Afghanistan, may have taken off from an airbase in Kyrgyzstan. According to the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, the attack was launched from Ganci Airbase, a US transit facility located in the northern Kyrgyz city of Manas.
In Kyrgyzstan, close to the Bishkek international airport, there used to be a US military base called Ganci, according to Dawn’s citation of the US Department of Defense. In June 2014, the US Air Force, which had been running it, turned it over to the Kyrgyz military. The US administration, however, made no comments regarding the precise location or route of the drone’s takeoff or flight.
There is “no question” that Pakistani turf was used for launching the drone that killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, according to Major General Babar Iftikhar, the director general of Inter-Services Public Relations, who made the statement on Friday.
Zawahiri was one of the world’s most wanted terrorists and a mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US. He was killed in a US drone attack in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Zawahiri, an Egyptian surgeon, played a significant role in the planning of 9/11 and served as Osama Bin Laden’s personal doctor. The attack was carried out by an Air Force drone under the direction of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
According to an official, Zawahiri was the solitary victim of the strike and none of his family members was hurt. The Taliban, meanwhile, acknowledged Zawahiri’s demise and denounced the weekend drone attack the US carried out in Kabul.
(with inputs from agencies)