Australian citizen killed fighting alongside Syrian rebels: watchdog
AFPBEIRUT--An Australian citizen fighting with Syrian rebels in their battle against President Bashar al-Assad's regime has been killed in the northwest of the country, a watchdog said on Wednesday.
January 3, 2013, 12:08 am TWN
“Abu al-Walid al-Australi was killed Dec. 30 in a rebel assault on the Wadi Deif base,” Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP by telephone.
Rebel fighters launched an assault on the Wadi Deif base, one of the regime's last strongholds in the northwest of Syria, on Dec. 28 in a fresh bid to wrest control of the strategic post.
The jihadist group the Al-Nusra Front led the offensive, according to rebels on the ground.
Insurgents captured the nearby town of Maaret al-Numan, located on the important Damascus-Aleppo highway, in October.
Syria's insurgents comprise army deserters, civilians who have taken up arms and foreign fighters, including several Islamist groups.
The Australian government has condemned Assad's regime for its violence against its own people, expelled Syrian diplomats and demanded the president's departure.