Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

Syria Says Leader of Al-Qaeda-Linked Group Killed

Members of the al-Nusra Front take part in a parade calling for the establishment of an Islamic state in Syria, in the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood of Aleppo, on October 25, 2013. Photographer: Karam al-Masri/AFP via Getty Images
Members of the al-Nusra Front take part in a parade calling for the establishment of an Islamic state in Syria, in the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood of Aleppo, on October 25, 2013. Photographer: Karam al-Masri/AFP via Getty Images

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- The leader of a Syrian rebel group with links to al-Qaeda was killed in clashes near the northwestern coastal city of Latakia, state television said.

The report of Abu Muhammad al-Jolani’s death, which didn’t give further details, was denied by other leaders of his group, the al-Nusra Front, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said it spoke to some of them. The Observatory, which has ties with the more secular of Syria’s rebel groups, said other al-Nusra members couldn’t confirm or deny the report of al-Jolani’s death because they hadn’t been able to contact him.

The al-Nusra Front, classified as a terrorist organization by the U.S., is among several Islamist groups that have played a growing role in the 2 1/2-year uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. The Islamists have frequently clashed with other rebel forces, especially Kurds in the north, as well as fighting against Assad’s army.

U.S. support for the Syrian opposition has been constrained by concerns that military or financial aid may end up in the hands of Islamist militants instead of the Western-backed rebels. Saudi Arabia, the main U.S. ally in the Arab world, recently signaled that it may split with the U.S. by diverting more aid to the Islamists, because they are disorganized and ineffective.

Separately, the Observatory said a car bombing in a town near Damascus today left 40 people dead. The Observatory estimates that Syria’s civil war has killed more than 115,000 people since March 2011.

To contact the reporter on this story: Zaid Sabah in Washington at zalhamid@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ben Holland at bholland1@bloomberg.net

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.