Head of major Syrian rebel group and several leaders are killed in Damascus airstrike
- Zahran Alloush and five commanders from Jaysh al-Islam killed in Syria
- The powerful rebel group’s headquarters was targeted in Damascus suburb
- Local media claim the attack was caused by a deadly Russian airstrike
Zahran Alloush, the head of Jaysh al Islam, one of the strongest insurgent faction in the rebel-held suburbs of Damascus, was killed in an air raid that targeted his group’s headquarters.
They said a secret headquarters of the group, which is the largest rebel faction in the area and has thousands of fighters, was targeted by what they described as Russian planes.
Several leading members of the group were killed after a meeting east of Damascus was targeted, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
‘A number of members and leaders of the Army of Islam were killed, but the fate of the commander, Zahran Alloush, is unknown,’ the monitoring group said.
It was not immediately clear who had carried out the air strike but Russian forces were most likely.
Russia’s air force has made 5,240 sorties since it started the strikes in Syria on September 30, including 189 sorties on Thursday alone, Russia’s defence ministry told reporters yesterday.
Long-range strategic bombers have carried out 145 sorties over the same period, Sergei Rudskoi, a department chief at the General Staff of the armed forces, told a news briefing in Moscow.
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