Conflicting reports coming out of Syria suggest that the man who established the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) has been probably killed in a military operation in Syria’s western province of Latakia.
According to Lebanon’s al-Akhbar newspaper, Riad al-Asaad was killed at a village in Latakia during the government forces’ military operations against foreign-backed militants.
The daily stated that some other FSA leaders were killed in the clashes.
This is while other sources said Asaad was wounded in the clashes with army soldiers and was transferred to Turkey for treatment.
On March 25, Asaad was badly injured after an explosion hit his car while touring the town of Mayadeen, which was under the control of the militants at the time.
He was immediately crossed into Turkey for treatment and had to have his right leg amputated due to serious injuries.
Asaad, a former air force engineer, defected from Syria in July 2011. He set up the so-called FSA a month later in Turkey.
The government troops have recently conducted successful clean-up operations across the country, inflicting heavy losses on the militants.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting militants operating inside Syria to overthrow the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions displaced due to the violence.