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Reports: Syrian Air Defense Chief Killed In Rebel Attack

The chief of Syria's air defense has been killed during an attack by rebel fighters on Sunday, news outlets, including The Associated Press and The Guardian, are reporting.

The AP reports that Lt. Gen. Hussein Ishaq is one of the few high ranking officials to have been killed during Syria's bloody civil war.

Syrian rebels have often said that President Bashar Assad's greatest advantage is his air power. The AP reports that it's unclear if Ishaq's death will "will have any wider strategic or military impact on the war itself."

Reuters adds:

"'We announce good news to the Islamic nation, of the killing of one of the leaders of unbelief, General Hussein Yaqoub Ishaq, head of the Air Defense Administration in Mleiha,' the Islamic Front said in a statement.

"Ishaq died on Sunday of wounds inflicted a day earlier 'when rebels confronted an attempt to storm Mleiha,' it said.

"The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, also reported Ishaq's death in Mleiha, which has seen heavy fighting in recent days."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.
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