Reports: Rebel Leader Killed Near Damascus

Numerous reports coming out Friday suggest that Jaysh al-Islam leader Zahran Alloush was killed in a Russian air raid near Damascus. The Salafist group controls al-Ghouta in the Damascus suburbs, and has been considered a target for Russian airstrikes.

In an interview with The Daily Beast published this month, Alloush said his army stands “alongside Ahrar al-Sham and all revolutionary forces that fight Assad and refuses ISIS’s takfiri mentality.” “Russia bombed Jaysh al-Islam positions for a time, and then stopped,” he said. “We do not need their help in the fight against ISIS.”

Alloush also criticized America’s response to the Syrian crisis. “America is a powerful country and it can play a major role to end the Syrian conflict if it wants. But the current administration refuses to play this role and acts with cold blood when it comes to Syria,” he said. “It has failed to respond effectively to Assad’s massacres and we saw that obviously when Assad crossed the ‘red line’ on the use of chemical weapons. America was able to stop the chemical attacks, but it didn’t care.”