The Al Qaeda leader was identified in the Pentagon statement as Musa Abu Dawud who had trained recruits in Libya to carry out attacks in the region.
“He provided critical logistics support, funding and weapons to AQIM, enabling the terrorist group to threaten and attack US and Western interests in the region,” US Africa Command said.
The statement added that the airstrike was conducted in coordination with the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA).
The chaos and infighting that ensued the collapse of Gaddafi regime in 2011 offered propitious conditions for the surge of terrorist groups such as AQIM and ISIS in the country.
“Left unaddressed, these organizations could continue to inflict casualties on the civilian populations and security forces, and plot attacks against US citizens and allied interests in the region,” said the statement.