Missile blast wounds Syrian rebel commander: activists

AMMAN Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:03am IST

1 of 2. A Free Syrian Army fighter helps a family after a jet missile hit the al-Myassar neighbourhood of Aleppo February 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Muzaffar Salman

Related Topics

AMMAN (Reuters) - A missile struck the command centre 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 centre 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 al-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.

"We cannot disclose Sheikh Zahran's condition," said the spokesman, Islam Alloush, who is also his cousin.

Activists said the early morning strike took place near the northern Damascus suburb of Douma. The rocket, possibly a Scud-type ballistic missile, devastated the area and killed or wounded other fighters, they said.

A rebel commander fighting with Liwa al-Islam in Damascus said: "It would be a great loss if Sheikh Alloush is killed. Liwa al-Islam is the most powerful on the ground and Sheikh Alloush is the brains behind its strength."

Activists and Syrian state media later reported a mortar bomb had struck the Tishreen stadium in central Damascus, killing a player from the Homs-based soccer team Al-Wathba.

Syrian television broadcast footage of what appeared to be the team's sleeping quarters, showing bloodstained walls and shattered glass on the beds.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors violence in Syria, said at least 20 people were killed in an air strike on Damascus suburb of Hamouriya.

(Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis; Editing by Michael Roddy)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

SCOTLAND VOTES

Reuters Showcase

No Ground War

No Ground War

Obama vows U.S. will not fight another ground war in Iraq.  Full Article 

Beheading Plot

Beheading Plot

Militants urged Australian "demonstration killings" - PM Abbott.  Full Article | Related Story 

Fatal Vaccination

Fatal Vaccination

Measles vaccination campaign halted in northern Syria after 15 children die.  Full Article 

Cancer Detected

Cancer Detected

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford diagnosed with rare cancer.  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola could drain billions of dollars from African economies - World Bank.  Full Article 

Pakistan Floods

Pakistan Floods

Pakistani Islamists use floods to turn opinion against India  Full Article 

Ukraine Tension

Ukraine Tension

Ukraine PM tells army to be on full battle alert despite ceasefire.  Full Article 

Chemical Weapons

Chemical Weapons

Syria reveals more chemical weapons facilities to watchdog - sources.  Full Article 

Pakistan Protests

Pakistan Protests

Pakistan's PM threatens to clear protesters camped in capital.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage