Syria Conflict: Senior Militant Rebel Leader Killed

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Damascus: A senior commander of the Syrian militant group formerly known as al-Nusra Front has been killed near Aleppo, rebel sources say. The group Jabhat Fateh al-Sham said on its Twitter account that commander Abu Omar Sarakeb died in an air strike in Aleppo province.

It did not say which country’s forces had carried out the air strike. Al-Nusra Front changed its name at the end of July, reportedly cutting ties with al-Qaeda at the same time.

The Syrian government, Russia and a US-led coalition have all been carrying out air strikes against militant groups in Syria. A source quoted by Reuters said that Abu Omar Sarakeb and others had been targeted in a hideout in the village of Kafr Naha.

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Unconfirmed reports said several other senior figures in the group were killed or injured, Reuters reported. Al-Nusra was excluded from February’s cessation of hostilities agreement in Syria along with so-called Islamic State (IS).

Despite its new name, the US said it saw no reason to change its view of the group as a terrorist organisation. The embattled city of Aleppo has seen some of the fiercest clashes in Syria’s civil war in recent months.

Diplomatic efforts to end the fighting have so far come to nothing.