“Russian air strikes killed Syrian rebel chief Zahran Alloush, the leader of Jaysh al Islam who commanded about 15,000 to 20,000 fighters in the Damascus suburbs … Before setting up Jaysh al Islam, Alloush had founded Liwa al-Islam, or the Brigade of Islam, with his father Abdallah, a Salafist Syrian cleric based in Saudi Arabia. He had a postgraduate degree in religious studies from a Saudi university.” Full story here.
“Alloush, who was in his mid-40s, was widely known to be supported by Saudi Arabia and Turkey. He was one of the most powerful rebel commanders with thousands of fighters controlling large parts of the eastern Damascus suburbs known as Eastern Ghouta and Douma. … He is blamed by other opposition groups for the December 2013 kidnapping of four prominent activists including human rights activist and lawyer Razan Zaytouni. … His group was behind the shelling of Damascus in recent months with mortar shells, including an attack that targeted the Russian Embassy. Such attacks have killed and wounded scores of civilians.”