Al-Qaeda blamed for FSA commander's death
12 July 2013, 18:01
Cairo - An al-Qaeda-linked group has killed a senior
commander in the rebel Syrian Free Army (FSA), said an FSA official on Friday,
an act set to widen rifts between rival moderate and radical groups fighting to
oust President Bashar Assad.
Kamal Hamami of the FSA Supreme Military Council was
killed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, added FSA spokesperson
"Hamami's killing is a very serious
development," al-Mokdad told dpa. "The Supreme Military Council is
holding an emergency meeting over the murder."
"He was killed by the head of the group Abu Ayman
al-Baghdadi, who asked one of Hamami's bodyguards to go back and inform members
of the council that he has killed Hamami, and that they will face the same
fate," al-Mokdad added.
Hamami was on "a reconnaissance mission" in the
Syrian port city of Latakia where he was killed, according to al-Mokdad.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
reported that Hamami had been killed on Thursday, when the Islamist group attempted
to dismantle a checkpoint belonging to his battalion.
Syria's major rebel units, including FSA, regrouped in
December 2012 under a unified rebel command called the Supreme Military
Hamami's killing could trigger a serious conflict inside the
Syrian opposition between radical Islamist insurgents and moderate rebels.
Western powers have recently voiced concerns over the
increased presence of al-Qaeda-linked groups in Syria, prompting calls for
ensuring that weapons delivered to rebels will not end up in extremists' hands.