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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Air Raid Near Aleppo Kills Syrian Rebel Leader

By VOA News September 09, 2016

A high-ranking member of the Fatah al-Sham rebel group in Syria is dead, rebel sources say, after fighter jets bombed a meeting of the group's leaders near Aleppo.

Abu Omar Saraqeb, who also goes by the name Abu Hajer al-Homsi, was killed during the air raid in a rural part of Aleppo, which rebels say was likely carried out by a U.S. fighter jet, though the nationality of the jets has not been officially acknowledged.

The rebel group, a former al-Qaida affiliate, announced the commander's "martyrdom" in a post on Twitter.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an aircraft bombed a meeting of commanders of the Army of Conquest alliance, killing Saraqeb and another rebel alliance commander named Abu Muslim al-Shami, though it said it was unclear whether the air strike was carried out by U.S. forces, the Syrian government or Russian forces, all of which have been conducting bombing raids in the area.

Saraqeb was said to be one of the leading members of al-Qaida in Iraq. He fought against U.S. troops during the occupation in 2003 before travelling to Syria, where he became a key commander in the former al-Nusra Front, which later became Fatah al-Sham after breaking ties with al-Qaida.

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