New Syrian rebel group leader defiant after predecessor’s death

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The new leader of the most powerful Syrian insurgent group in the eastern suburbs of Damascus says the group remains resistant following the death of former leader Zahran Alloush. Mana Rabiee reports.

New Syrian rebel group leader defiant after predecessor’s death

THIS EDIT CONTAINS USER-GENERATED CONTENT THAT WAS UPLOADED TO A SOCIAL MEDIA WEBSITE. IT HAS BEEN CHECKED BY REUTERS’ SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM AND REVIEWED BY A SENIOR EDITOR. REUTERS IS CONFIDENT THE EVENTS PORTRAYED ARE GENUINE.

These are said to be fighters from Syria’s most powerful rebel group, Jaysh al-Islam, thought to be nearly 20,000-strong.

They just lost their leader — in what rebels said on Friday was a Russian air strike targeting their secret headquarters in al-Ghouta, an eastern suburb of Damascus.

Now, they’ve posted video online claiming to show their NEW leader — Isam Bwidani — who’s vowing to continue the fight.

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) NEW LEADER OF SYRIAN REBEL GROUP JAYSH AL ISLAM, ISAM BWIDANI, SAYING:

“For our families who are still patient in blessed Ghouta, we are still what you think of us, lions and tough fighters”

The death of the group’s late leader, Zahran Alloush, was a big blow to rebel control of al-Ghouta.

SEVERAL rebel leaders have been killed since Russia began its aerial campaign over Syria in late September.

The strikes are in support of its ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who’s also battling Islamic State.

Tags : death, predecessors, after, Defiant, leader, group, rebel, Syrian

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