Syrian al-Nusra Front leader, Abu Firas, 'killed in air strike'

Abu Firas al-Suri was killed 'alongside at least 20 other militants'

Alexandra Sims
Sunday 03 April 2016 23:59
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An image posted on the Twitter page of Syria's al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front on Friday, 1 April 2016, shows fighters from al-Qaida's branch in Syria, the Nusra Front
An image posted on the Twitter page of Syria's al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front on Friday, 1 April 2016, shows fighters from al-Qaida's branch in Syria, the Nusra Front

A prominent member of the al-Nusra Front, linked to the Syrian Al Qaeda, has been killed in an air strike alongside at least 20 other militants, according to a monitoring group.

Abu Firas al-Suri was allegedly killed in a suspected Syrian or Russian air raid on a village in the rebel held north western province of Idlib, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The militant died alongside his son and other foreign jihadists in a strike also targeting the militant Jund al Aqasa group in the village of Kafr Jales, according to the monitoring group.

Abu Firas had many followers within the group and was known for giving commentaries on a variety of issues, which were then released by al-Nusra Front.

An Islamist source said Abu Firas was a founding member of al-Nusra Front who fought in Afghanistan in the 1980s and was a senior member of its Shura Council. He is also understood to have worked with Osama bin Laden.

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights’ chief, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP news agency, Abu Firas was meeting other jihadists at the time of the strike.

A “cessation of hostilities” has held in Syria for over a month, but excludes Isis and al-Nusra Front.

Attacks by Syrian and allied forces have continued in parts of the country where the groups are said to be present.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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