Syrian air raid kills rebel commander in Aleppo

A Syrian rebel commander in a mainIslamist brigade was killed and two others were injured in anair strike by President Bashar Assad's forces on Aleppo,activists said on Friday, in a setback to rebels defending thecity against a loyalist attack.

Aleppo, Syria's commercial hub and most populous city beforethe uprising against Assad erupted in 2011, has been witnessingheavy fighting since Assad's forces, backed by Shi'ite militiafrom Iraq and the Lebanese party Hezbollah, launched anoffensive two weeks ago to retake rebel-held areas in the city.

The opposition Aleppo News Network said in a statement thatthe raid on Thursday targeted an army base that rebels hadcaptured, killing commander Youssef al-Abbas of theQatari-backed al-Tawhid Brigades, one of the biggest armedopposition groups.

Abbas was known by the nom de guerre Abu al-Tayyeb.

Tawhid's leadership was holding a meeting in the base whenthe raid occurred, the statement said.

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