Printed on: November 19, 2013

Syrian rebel leader killed


BEIRUT (AP) -- The leader of one of Syria's most prominent rebel units died early Monday of wounds suffered during a strike by government forces last week, his group said, dealing another blow to fighters reeling from a series of battlefield losses.

The death of Abdul-Qadir Saleh, founder of the Tawhid Brigade, followed advances by President Bashar Assad's troops against rebels on two key fronts: the capture of a string of opposition-held suburbs south of Damascus and the taking of two towns and a base outside Aleppo.

The Tawhid Brigade is one of Syria's best known and powerful rebel groups, with about 10,000 fighters.

An ongoing offensive meanwhile is driving hundreds of refugees into neighboring Lebanon, as government forces seek to dislodge rebels from a mountainous area that stretches north of the Syrian capital. A total of 6,000 have crossed to a Lebanese border town over the past three days, the U.N. says.