AMMAN - A missile struck the command center of the main Syrian rebel force near Damascus on Wednesday, wounding its leader, activists said, and a soccer player was killed when a mortar bomb hit a stadium in the center of the capital.

The missile attack on Liwa al-Islam Brigade, which is spearheading a three-week-old offensive that has given the rebels a foothold inside Damascus, deals a blow to efforts to undermine President Bashar Assad in his seat of power.

A rebel spokesman said Sheikh Zahran Alloush, founder of the brigade, was wounded but declined to give further details.

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