Islamists suffer setback in Syria with killing of al-Qaeda-linked leader
Crime & Courts newsletter
The Syrian army killed the leader of the al-Qaeda-allied Nusra Front in the Syrian city of al-Qussair during all-out-combat between the Islamist-led rebels and government troops, according to an Israeli source.
According to Benjamin Weinstein, an expert on Islamist terrorist groups, the Nusra Front chief Abu Omar was killed along with a dozen subordinates.
He was shot-to-death as the Syrian army continued to plow through the rebel defenses for the third consecutive day in order to achieve Assad's quest to regain control that city which is located adjacent to Lebanon's porous borders, al-Mayadeen TV said.
A Syrian military officer was allegedly beheaded by Islamists fighting alongside the rebels.
Assad's troops, including a tank corps, began to attack the rebels defending al-Qussair city early Sunday following the army's countryside victory following a military operation that lasted more than a month, Weinstein said.
On Monday, the state-run news agencies claimed Assad's army was still pushing deeper into the strategic city and that the government controlled a major portion of al-Qussair.
The rebels in that strategic city had been strengthened by the Salafists (radical Islamists) in Lebanon's northern region. The Syrian government recently cautioned the Lebanese that it would not hesitate to respond to the armed groups which are moving in an out between Syria and Lebanon.
At least 100 people, including two-dozen Hezbollah members, have been killed in the intense fighting in al-Qussair over the past 48 hours, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
In addition, terrorists from Lebanese-based -- and Iran-supported -- Hezbollah have been aiding the Assad regime.