Commander of Syria’s most powerful rebel group killed in airstrike

A leading Syrian rebel commander has been killed in Aleppo. Abu Hajer al Homsi died in an air raid, Jabhat Fatah al Sham, the former al-Qaeda offshoot, announced on its Twitter account. The strike targeted a meeting of leaders of the group, formerly known as Jabhat al Nusra or Al-Nusra Front, but did not say who carried out the attack or when it was. The militants were in a secret hideout in the village of Kafr Naham, according to one source. There were also unconfirmed reports that several other senior figures were either injured or killed.

This is undoubtedly the biggest blow ever inflicted on Fateh al-Sham and the Army of Conquest in Syria

Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

Jabhat Fateh al-Sham is one of the most powerful jihadist rebel groups and has been fighting the Syrian government since early 2012. It changed its name in July at the same time cutting its ties with al-Qaeda but is considered a terrorist group by the U.S. However, the U.S. said the change of name did not suggest a change in its ideology. Abu Hajer al Homsi, known by the nom de guerre Abu Omar Saraqib, was a founder of the group and fought against the U.S. in Iraq in 2003. He led a major offensive in spring last year which saw his forces seize control of nearly all of the north-western province of Idlib.

The targeting of the symbols of this blessed revolution will only increase our determination to achieve our goals

One of the group’s brigades