Syrian City Bombed Following Death of General

Air Force planes from Syria bombed the city of Deir al-Zor in the eastern region of the country after overnight clashes and the killing of a top military intelligence officer to President Bashar al-Assad, said activists.

General Jama’a Jama’a was killed on Thursday from sniper fire during a battle with opposition rebels including those forces link with al-Qaeda, said a human rights organization.

The general’s death was celebrated by opposition activists and rebels and marked a big setback for President Assad’s bid to retain his hold in the city, which is the capital of an oil-producing province in the east.

A notice was published in Facebook containing information about the death of Jama’a. The death notice said he body would be flown back to Zama, his home village located in the mountains that overlook the sea, for a Friday burial.

Syria is amidst a civil war of more than 2½ years, which started as a peaceful movement but fell into a bloody civil war involving sectarianism.

The Sunni Muslim who are the majority have joined the opposition rebels for the most part against the Assad family regime that has ruled for four decades

Minority sects including the Assad sect, the Alawites have largely been behind Assad during the war.

Jama’a was 59 at the time of his death and served as the top military intelligence officer in Syria. He had been based in Lebanon until Assad withdrew his forces from that country under pressure from the international community in 2005.

Jama’a after returning from Lebanon was appointed to the chief of military intelligence stationed in Deir al-Zor. That position was both sensitive and prominent due to the flow of militants across Syria’s border into Iraq.

Jama’a had sanctions imposed upon him in August of 2011, which was five month after the protests first started in Damascus. The sanctions were imposed by the European Union

The sanctions were placed on the General for the role he played in violence and repression against civilians inside Syria.

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