FSA 'Arsal Commander' Shot Dead in Town's Square
Defected Colonel Abdullah Hussein al-Rifai, the so-called leader of the Free Syrian Army in Arsal and its outskirts, was shot dead Friday in the Lebanese border town.
State-run National News Agency said the shooting occurred in the town's square.
Citing official “security reports”, MTV said four unknown gunmen opened fire around 6:00 pm at Rifai's tinted-glass black Kia.
“Rifai received multiple gunshot wounds and was rushed in a critical condition to the Mustafa al-Hujeiri field hospital in the region before succumbing to his wounds,” MTV added.
Arsal lies 12 kilometers from the border with Syria and has been used as a conduit for weapons and rebels to enter Syria, while also serving as a refuge for people fleeing the conflict.
Jihadists from the Islamic State and al-Nusra Front groups, who are entrenched in the outskirts, stormed the town in August 2014 and engaged in deadly battles with the army following the arrest of a top militant.
They withdrew from Arsal at the end of the fighting, but kidnapped a number of troops and policemen. A few have since been released, four were executed, while the rest remain held.