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Syrian Rebels Say al-Qaida Militants Killed Commander

  • VOA News

A Free Syrian Army fighter aims his weapon as he takes position inside a house in the city of Aleppo July 11, 2013.

A Free Syrian Army fighter aims his weapon as he takes position inside a house in the city of Aleppo July 11, 2013.

Members of a rebel group fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad say one of their top commanders has been killed by al-Qaida-linked militants also fighting in Syria.

Commanders of the Free Syrian Army said Kamal Hamami, a member of the FSA Supreme Military Council, was killed at a checkpoint in northern Latakia province by fighters from a group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

There was no way to independently confirm the report.

The Islamist group is believed to have links to al-Qaida. At times its militants have fought with the groups that make up the Free Syrian Army, which is backed by Arab and some Western countries in its rebellion against President Assad's forces. However, the FSA has recently tried to distance itself from Islamist militants in Syria to address fears that outside weapons provided to Syrian rebels would reach al-Qaida groups.

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