Top Syrian rebel commander killed in Russian airstrike

BEIRUT -- An airstrike near the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Friday killed top rebel commander Zahran Allouch, who led one of the most powerful groups fighting against President Bashar Assad's government, opposition activists said.

See Full Article

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an airstrike hit an Army of Islam meeting near the Damascus suburb of Otaya, killing several rebel commanders including Allouch.

The Observatory said warplanes hit a meeting during which Army of Islam commanders were preparing to launch an offensive against government forces and those of Lebanon's Hezbollah near Damascus.

The Local Coordination Committees said Allouch was killed by a Russian airstrike in the al-Marj area near Damascus.

The Lebanon-based AL-Mayadeen TV said Allouch was killed during a meeting to reconcile two feuding militant factions near Damascus. The station said 13 airstrikes hit eastern Damascus on Friday.

Mazen al-Shami, an opposition activist based near Damascus, said Russian warplanes fired 10 missiles at the site where Allouch and top commanders in his group were meeting in Otaya. He said several officials and commanders were killed or wounded.

Saudi-backed Allouch was one of the most powerful rebel commanders and his group controls large parts of the Damascus suburbs. The Army of Islam faction is the most powerful group fighting government forces as well as the Islamic State group near Damascus.

A former prisoner who was released in a general amnesty after the uprising against Assad began in March 2011, Allouch joined the armed opposition and formed the Army of Islam -- which became one of the most organized rebel factions in Syria.

His group was behind the shelling of Damascus in recent months with mortar shells, attacks that killed and wounded scores of civilians.

The Army of Islam took part earlier this month in an opposition meeting held in Saudi Arabia to agree on an opposition delegation that would negotiate with government representatives in planned peace talks. The government has always said it will not negotiate with terrorists and considers the Army of Islam to be terrorists.

His death comes a month before peace talks between the Syrian government and the opposition are scheduled to begin in Geneva.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • U.S. officials work to lower Mexico tensions as Trump amps them up

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY - There were promises of co-operation, of closer economic ties, and frequent odes to the enduring partnership between the U.S. and its southern neighbour. But there were no public mentions of that massive border wall or President Donald Trump's plan to deport non-Mexicans to Mexico as top U.S. Source
  • Verdict expected in Calgary murder trial of parents in diabetic son's death

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY - A judge is expected to rule today whether the parents of a diabetic boy who died of starvation and lack of treatment are guilty of first-degree murder. Emil and Rodica Radita have pleaded not guilty in 15-year-old Alexandru's death. Source
  • Deadly overdoses involving heroin multiplied over 5 years, U.S. study finds

    World News CBC News
    The number of deadly heroin overdoses in the United States more than quadrupled from 2010 to 2015, a federal agency said on Friday, as the price of the drug dropped and its potency increased. There were 12,989 overdose deaths involving heroin in 2015, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, compared with 3,036 such fatalities five years earlier. Source
  • Banned nerve agent used in killing of Kim Jong Nam, Malaysia says

    World News CTV News
    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - The banned chemical weapon VX nerve agent was used to kill Kim Jong Nam, the North Korean ruler's outcast half brother who was attacked by two women who rubbed the substance on his face at the airport in Malaysia's capital last week, police said Friday. Source
  • Anaheim mayor 'deeply disturbed' after off-duty LAPD officer fights with teens

    World News CTV News
    ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Anaheim officials pressed for calm after raucous protests followed an incident in which an off-duty policeman scuffled in his front yard with a boy, drew a weapon and fired a shot into the ground after another teen pushed him over a hedge and others surrounded him. Source
  • Kansas police investigate whether fatal bar shooting was racially motivated

    World News CBC News
    A man accused of opening fire in a crowded suburban Kansas City bar, killing one man and injuring two others in an attack that some witnesses said was racially motivated, was charged Thursday with murder and attempted murder. Source
  • Police in Kansas investigate whether fatal bar shooting was racially motivated

    World News CBC News
    A man accused of opening fire in a crowded suburban Kansas City bar, killing one man and injuring two others in an attack that some witnesses said was racially motivated, was charged Thursday with murder and attempted murder. Source
  • Top White House official reportedly asked FBI to refute critical Trump story

    World News CBC News
    White House chief of staff Reince Priebus asked a top FBI official to dispute media reports that President Donald Trump's campaign advisers were frequently in touch with Russian intelligence agents during the election, a White House official said late Thursday. Source
  • Iraqi forces have secured half of Mosul airport, officials say

    World News CTV News
    BAGHDAD - Two Iraqi officials say that after a day of fierce fighting, Iraqi forces have secured half of Mosul's airport and most of a sprawling military base next to it on the city's southwestern edge. Source
  • Rodrigo Duterte's harsh critic Leila de Lima arrested in Philippines

    World News CBC News
    A Philippine opposition senator and leading critic of President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly anti-drug crackdown was arrested Friday on drug charges but professed her innocence and vowed she would not be intimidated by a leader she called a "serial killer. Source