Top Syrian intelligence officer killed by rebels

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Gunmen have killed a top army Gen. Jamaa Jamaa on Thursday while on duty in eastern Syria, state-run Syrian television said.

“Major General Jamaa Jamaa was martyred while carrying out his national duties to Syria and its people and pursuing terrorists in Deir al-Zour,” Agence France-Presse quoted state television as saying in a breaking news alert.

Jamaa, who was the head of the military intelligence directorate in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour, was one of the most powerful Syrian army officers in the country.

Ayesha bint al-Sadiq Brigade said it was behind Jamaa’s targeted killing before state TV making any official announcement.

Anti-Syrian regime activists also broadcasted a video showing some people in Dier al-Zour firing celebratory gunfire after hearing of Jamaa’s killing.

The activists said the Syrian government has intensified its shelling on the eastern province soon after announcing Jamaa’s death.

The city of Deir el-Zour has witnessed clashes between troops and rebels for more than a year.

Jamaa’s history

The general was one of Syria’s top security officers in Lebanon during Damascus’s military deployment in the country between 1976 and 2005.

He was interrogated over the February 2005 assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri. However, he was not charged in connection with Hariri’s death.

In 2006, the U.S. Treasury Department blacklisted him and another Syrian general for their role in supporting “terrorist groups” and over the harmful Syrian presence in Lebanon.

He hails from Jabla, a town in coastal Latakia province, a stronghold of the Syrian regime.

(With AFP, Associated Press and Reuters)

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