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By Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube

A man described as a longtime al-Qaeda operative and the leader of the Khorasan Group was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Syria earlier this month, defense officials said Tuesday.

Muhsin al-Fadhli was killed in a "kinetic strike" in Sarmada, Syria, on July 8, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said.

Muhsin al-Fadhli, seen in an undated photo provided by the U.S. State Department, was killed in an airstrike in Syria, the Pentagon said.U.S. State Department via Reuters

"He was a senior al-Qaeda facilitator who was among the few trusted al-Qaeda leaders that received advanced notification of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks," and was involved in a deadly attack that killed a U.S. Marine on Faylaka Island in Kuwait in 2002, Davis said.

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"His death will degrade and disrupt ongoing external operations of al-Qaeda against the United States and our allies and partners."

The July 8 strike was the second attempt to kill Fadhli. A US airstrike thought to have killed Fadhli last September missed the target.

The Khorasan Group has been described as a terror network made up of veteran al-Qaeda operatives, who have taken advantage of the civil war in Syria to lure new recruits and plan attacks on Western interests.

The U.S. had offered a $7 million reward for information leading to the location of the Kuwaiti-born Al-Fadhli — just shy of the $10 million offered for the capture of Abu Bakr al-Baghadi, the leader of the terror group ISIS.