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Two More of Assad's Cousins Reportedly Killed

Two more cousins of the Syrian President killed in a town near Turkey as rebels launch a new offensive.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 3/25/2014, 3:42 AM

President Bashar al-Assad
President Bashar al-Assad
Reuters

Two more cousins of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad have been killed in a town near Turkey, sources told Al Arabiya on Monday.

The two cousins were identified as Ali and Kifah Al-Assad. Their deaths come one day after Hilal Al-Assad, another cousin of the Syrian President, was killed along with seven of his fighters during fighting in the border town of Kasab in Latakia province.

Hilal founded the National Defense Army, a group of pro-government civilians fighting alongside the Syrian army

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had said Sunday that Hilal was killed in clashes with the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front and other Islamist 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.

Meanwhile on Monday, reported The Associated Press, the Islamist rebels captured a small town in northwestern Syria near the Turkish border.

The director of the Britain-based Observatory, said rebels were in control of Kassab on Monday but that clashes were raging in the hills outside the center of town.

Last week, Assad scored a victory when his troops captured the key town of Yabroud on the Lebanese border from rebel groups.

The town was taken from rebels after army troops and Hezbollah terrorists surrounded the city.