Al-Qaeda Reportedly Kills Syrian Rebel Commander

July 12, 2013

The opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA) says an Al-Qaeda-linked rebel group has killed one of its top commanders.

FSA spokesman Luay al-Mokdad said on July 12 that Kamal Hamami, a member of the FSA's senior military leadership, was killed in the northern port city of Latakia by fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Hamami was killed on July 11 in fighting between the two factions over control of a checkpoint in Latakia.

Mokdad called Hamami's killing "a very serious development."

The killing could widen rifts between rival moderate and radical groups fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad.

It follows growing antagonism between the FSA and Islamists, who have sometimes joined forces on the battlefield in their fight against Assad's regime.

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