The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that the Kingdom welcomed the announcement by His Excellency the President of the US, Mr. Joseph Biden, of targeting and killing the terrorist leader of Al-Qaeda, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, who is one of the leaders of terrorism that led the planning and execution of heinous terrorist operations in the US, Saudi Arabia and several other countries of the world.
The Kingdom’s government stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation and concerted international efforts to combat and eradicate the scourge of terrorism, calling upon all countries to cooperate in this framework to protect innocent people from terrorist organizations.
A “precise” US air strike killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in the Afghan capital, Kabul, last Saturday night.
Al-Zawahiri was killed when he went out to the balcony of his safe house after being hit by “Hellfire” missiles from a US drone.
According to US officials, the “R9X Hellfire” missile is a top-secret missile and is used to launch precision air strikes that eliminate terrorists without exploding, which significantly reduces damage and the possibility of civilian casualties.
The missile, a modified version of the well-known “Hellfire” missile, contains an inactive warhead.
It aims to kill its target without endangering nearby people or property by throwing more than 100 pounds of metal through cars or buildings instead of exploding.
According to a report by the Associated Press, the R9X Hellfire missile first appeared in 2017 after the killing of prominent al-Qaeda leader Abu al-Khair al-Masry. The study confirmed that the images did not show any evidence of an explosion, which indicates the launch of a missile.
The missile has earned nicknames such as “flying ginsu,” inspired by a popular 1980s TV commercial for what appeared to be Japanese kitchen knives, and “ninja bomb.”
The missile carries 45 kilograms of reinforced metal at its tip with six extendable blades designed to shred the target on impact without causing an explosion that could be fatal to those nearby.
The missile has become one of the US Army’s preferred weapons in precision assassination operations.
According to the New York Times, the secret military Joint Special Operations Command confirmed that the missile was used twice, in 2019 and 2020. But it has reportedly been used in nearly a dozen other operations to take out specific targets.