Syrian air force general killed by rebels

  • A senior Syrian air force general has been killed by rebels in central Damascus, according to reports on state television.

    Abdullah Mahmoud al-Khalidi was shot dead on Monday night in the capital's Rukn al-Din district.

    The attack is the latest in a series of rebel attacks on high-level figures from President Bashar al-Assad's government.

    In July, a bomb killed the country's defence minister and Assad's brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat.

    "As part of their campaign to target national personalities and scientists, armed terrorist groups assassinated Air Force General Abdullah Mahmud al-Khalidi in the Damascus district of Rukn al-Din," the broadcaster said on Tuesday.

    It added that he was one of Syria's leading experts in aviation. He was also a member of the Syrian Air Force command, according to reports by Agence France Presse.

    The Free Syrian Army has claimed responsibility for the attack, adding it had also killed an air force intelligence official in the same operation.