The rebels attempting to overthrow the government of Bashir al-Assad took a major hit over the weekend with the death of a major rebel commander.
Abdul Qadir al-Saleh, the leader of the Liwa al-Tawlid, died overnight from wounds sustained in an air strike on a rebel held air base in Aleppo province on Thursday. The group is one of the major rebel forces in Syria with around 10,000 fighters. The group was the leaders of the rebels who took the city of Aleppo from government troops.
The brigade’s intelligence and financial chief died in the same attack.
“As an individual, he was very, very important, certainly in the Aleppo area, but increasingly as an individual that many in Syria felt represented the revolution,” IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre Charles Lister told the AFP news agency. “He came from a humble background, was outwardly religious but was very open… and he maintained extremely good relations with almost all groups of all different natures.”
Observers say it’s likely the rebel group will rally after the death of their leader to launch a major counter-offensive against government forces.