A U.S. airstrike has killed Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri in Afghanistan, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Current and former officials began hearing Sunday afternoon that al-Zawahri had been killed in a drone strike, but the administration delayed releasing the information until it could his death could be confirmed, according to person who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter.
White House officials declined to confirm the al-Zawahri was killed but noted in a statement that “the United States conducted a counterterrorism operation against a significant Al-Qaeda target in Afghanistan. The operation was successful and there were no civilian casualties.”
President Joe Biden is expected to discuss further details of the operation in a 7:30 p.m. EST address to the nation.
The White House said there were no civilian casualties.
President Biden planned to speak from the balcony off the White House Blue Room as he remains in isolation in the residence while he continues to test positive for COVID-19.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press.