A high-ranking Islamic State (Isis) fighter who mentored the Charlie Hebdo killers has been killed in an airstrike in Syria.

Boubaker al-Hakim, 33, was a French and Tunisian dual citizen who is also believed to have been involved in the Sousse beach massacre of 2015.

Early reports of his death suggest he was driving a car in Raqqa on 26 November when he was struck by a drone strike and the Pentagon later confirmed his death on Saturday (10 December).

In a statement, the Pentagon's press secretary Peter Cook said: "Coalition warplanes targeted and killed Tunisian Boubaker al-Hakim, in Raqqa, Syria, on 26 November.

"Al-Hakim was an ISIL leader and long-time terrorist with deep ties to French and Tunisian Jihadist elements."

Using an alternative acronym for IS (Daesh), Cook added: "His removal degrades ISIL's ability to conduct further attacks in the West and denies ISIL a veteran extremist with extensive ties. The Coalition will continue to track and eliminate ISIL terrorists who threaten us and our allies."

Al-Hakim, who also went under the nom de guerre Abu Muqatel, Arabic for 'father of killing', also appreared in IS propaganda videos hailing the deaths of Tunisian politicians Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi.

He was born in Paris and first travelled to Damascus in 2002, before travelling to Iraq, according to Huffington Post. During America's invasion of the country in 2003, al-Hakim was quoted in French media telling his friends to come join him "wage Jihad against America".

Weeks later he returned to Paris where he continued his subversive activities against the West.

In 2008, he was arrested by French officials and on his release in 2011 he travelled to Tunisia, where he rose to become the terror group's highest-ranking French operative.

He would later mentor brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi who forced their way into the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January 2015 and killed 12 people and injured 11 others.