.
.
.
.

Sources: two Assad cousins killed

Ali and Kifah al-Assad were slain in the border town of Kasab, a day after another cousin of the Syrian president was killed

Published: Updated:

Two cousins of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad were killed in a town near Turkey, sources told Al Arabiya News Channel on Monday.

The killing of Ali and Kifah al-Assad pushed the death toll for the cousins of the Syrian leader to three, after Sunday’s killing of Hilal al-Assad.

State news agency SANA reported that Hilal, the head of Syria’s National Defense paramilitary forces for the northwestern regime stronghold province of Latakia, was killed in fierce fighting in Latakia’s border town of Kasab.

The National Defense Force is a militia set up to support the army in its three-year battle with rebels seeking to overthrow Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was quoted by Reuters as saying that Hilal was killed along with seven of his fighters in clashes with al-Nusra Front and other Islamist miltant groups.

Syrian troops and rebels have been fighting for control of the border town since Friday, after three jihadist groups announced the launch of an offensive in Latakia.