A senior Syrian intelligence officer has been killed by a rebel sniper in the eastern city of Deir a-Zour, Syrian media reports.
General Jamaa Jamaa died while “pursuing terrorists” in the city, Syrian state television said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Jamaa was shot by a sniper during clashes in the Rashdiya neighborhood.
Jamaa was close to Syrian President Bashar Assad, the group noted.
The Observatory for Human Rights said the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra front was responsible for Jamaa’s death. A group calling itself the Aisha bin a-Sadiq Brigade has claimed responsibility for the shooting.
Jamaa was formerly among the leading Syrian figures involved in Syria’s presence in Lebanon, and was head of Syrian Military Intelligence in Beirut at the time that former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated.
More recently, he had been in charge of state intelligence in Deir a-Zour province.
Clashes in Deir a-Zour continue. Government airstrikes were reported in the city. Rebels in the area reportedly executed 10 Syrian soldiers during the latest round of fighting.