Senior rebel commander in southern Syria, Yasser al-Abboud, has been killed while fighting government troops near the city of Deraa, according to state media, the BBC has reported.
The former Syrian army officer who defected, is reported to have died while leading an assault on army checkpoints in the town of Tafas. Al-Abboud, also known as Abu Amar, was the leader of the Fallujah-Horan Brigade, and headed the rebel Supreme Military Council's "operations room" in the province of Deraa.
State television has referred to him as criminal, treacherous and a deserter. But one of the rebels said he was one of the most effective ground commanders there was.