Syrian rebel commander killed in Turkey car blast

Leader of faction linked to Free Syrian Army dies after car explodes outside his home in southern town of Antakya.

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A commander of a rebel faction linked to the Free Syrian Army (FSA), an umbrella group fighting Syrian government forces, has been killed in a car bomb attack in southern Turkey, local officials have said.

Jamil Raadoun’s car exploded outside his home when he turned the keys to the start ignition in the southern town of Antakya on Wednesday, the Dogan news agency reported.

Hatay regional governor Ercan Topaca told the state-run Anatolia news agency that Raadoun died of his wounds in hospital.

Television footage showed the wreck of his car being cordoned off by police, with the bomb apparently placed under his seat.

Raadoun, who had defected from the Syrian army early on in the five-year-old civil war, was leading a medium-sized rebel group called the Suqur al-Ghab that has been engaged in fighting in the al-Ghab area in northwestern Syria.

Topaca also said that the attack could have been the result of a dispute between different “Syrian opposition groups”.

Osama Abu Zayd, a spokesman for the FSA, said Raadoun’s brigade has fought against fighters from both the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in the northern province of Aleppo, and against Syrian government forces in central Idlib and Hama provinces.

“It is one of the brigades which the West classifies as moderate, but did not get training,” Abu Zayd said.

Raadoun had previously been the target of a failed assassination attempt in April.

Source: News Agencies