Syrian rebel commander killed in Turkey car bomb

ISTANBUL: A commander of a Syrian rebel group fighting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad was killed Wednesday in a car bomb attack in southern Turkey, local officials said.


Jamil Raadoun died of his wounds in hospital after the bomb exploded outside his home in Antakya in the southern Hatay region, regional governor Ercan Topaca told the state-run news agency.

Raadoun, who had defected from the Syrian army, was leading a medium-sized non-Islamist rebel unit called the Suqur al-Ghab brigades that has been fighting in the Al-Ghab plain in northwestern Syria.

Topaca told the agency that the attack could have been the result of a dispute between rival rebel groups.

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

The Dogan news agency said the bomb went off when Raadoun turned the keys to start the ignition.

He had previously been the target of an unsuccessful assassination attempt in April. Agency said Suqur al-Ghab, one of many non-Islamist rebel groups, counts some 2,000 people.

According to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Suqur al-Ghab contributed to a recent offensive in Al-Ghab with artillery fire and rockets.

Turkey, which bitterly opposes the Damascus regime, has said that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and other moderate rebels are key to ousting Assad from power.