Top rebel leader killed in Damascus air strike
An air strike near Syria's capital, Damascus, killed top rebel commander Zahran Allouch yesterday, according to opposition activists.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an air strike hit an Islam Army meeting near the Damascus suburb of Otaya yesterday, killing officials including Allouch. The Local Coordination Committees said Allouch was killed by a Russian air strike.
The Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen TV station said Allouch was killed during a meeting to reconcile two feuding militant factions. The station said 13 air strikes hit eastern Damascus on Friday.
Meanwhile, 2,000 Syrian Islamist fighters are expected to be evacuated soon from besieged, rebel-held areas of southern Damascus in a deal brokered by the United Nations, a Hezbollah TV station said yesterday.
The deal marks a success for the government of President Bashar al-Assad, increasing its chances of reasserting control over a strategic area just 4km south of the city centre.