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Jaish al Islam Rebel Group Denies Russia Hit Oil Stash

  • Reuters

FILE - A Jaish Al-Islam (army of Islam) brigade fighter prepares to launch rockets towards forces loyal to Syria's president Bashar Al-Assad located beside Damascus International airport, from the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Feb. 24, 2015.

FILE - A Jaish Al-Islam (army of Islam) brigade fighter prepares to launch rockets towards forces loyal to Syria's president Bashar Al-Assad located beside Damascus International airport, from the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Feb. 24, 2015.

Syrian rebel group Jaish al-Islam denied on Tuesday a Russian defense ministry report that its jets had destroyed a stash of oil products belonging to them in areas they control in the eastern suburbs of the Syrian capital.

The group, which is the most powerful rebel faction in the rural eastern suburban area of Damascus, has been a target of heavy Russian bombing since Moscow begin a major military campaign four months ago.

Russian jets are also believed to have killed Jaish al-Islam leader Zahran Alloush in a December raid that targeted the group's headquarters, dealing a major blow to rebel control of the area.

FILE - Zahran Alloush, head of the Army of Islam Syrian rebel group, speaks during the wedding of a fighter in the group in the rebel-held town of Douma, on the eastern edge of Damascus, Syria, July 21, 2015.

FILE - Zahran Alloush, head of the Army of Islam Syrian rebel group, speaks during the wedding of a fighter in the group in the rebel-held town of Douma, on the eastern edge of Damascus, Syria, July 21, 2015.


Jaish al-Islam denied the Russian report in an emailed statement received overnight.

The group is one of the main rebel factions represented in the Saudi-backed High Negotiation Committee. It is ideologically at odds with Islamic State and al Qaida, but is deemed by President Bashar al-Assad and his ally Russia to be a terrorist group.

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