General blamed for 2012 journalist deaths dies in Deir Ezzor blast

Issam Zahreddine
Updated 19 October 2017
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General blamed for 2012 journalist deaths dies in Deir Ezzor blast

BEIRUT: A general in the Syrian regime accused over the 2012 deaths of prominent US journalist Marie Colvin and French photographer Remi Ochlik has been killed by an explosion in the east of the country.
Issam Zahreddine’s death in the city of Deir Ezzor, where Russian-backed regime forces are battling Daesh, was reported by pro-regime media in Damascus.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said he was killed on Wednesday when an explosive device went off in Deir Ezzor city, most of which is now under the control of regime forces.
With his handlebar moustache and bushy grey beard, the 56-year-old general was a recognizable figure in Syria and had a cult following among diehard supporters of the regime.
Involved in the early days of the repression of a 2011 revolt against the regime of President Bashar Assad, he led the battle that expelled rebels from Syria’s third city of Homs five years ago.
In a lawsuit filed in the US in 2016, Colvin’s family alleged that her death was the result of shelling of the media center where she and Ochlik were, in a plan “formulated at the highest levels of the Syrian government.”
“The plan was executed by Syrian military forces under the command of Major General Issam Zahreddine of the Syrian Republican Guard,” it alleged.
Zahreddine had recently commanded the 7,000 forces that were besieged by Daesh in Deir Ezzor until more government troops were sent in and broke the jihadists’ stranglehold on the city.
Originally from the southern province of Suweida, Zahreddine was one of the highest-ranking army officers from Syria’s Druze minority.


Yemen army makes strategic advances against Houthis

Updated 9 min 47 sec ago
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Yemen army makes strategic advances against Houthis

  • The Yemeni army also clashed with Houthi militia in Taiz
  • Several Houthis were killed during the fighting

DUBAI: The Yemeni army has continued in its advances against the Houthis, liberating strategic areas in Saada that were strong-holds of the militia, the armed forces media center said Thursday.

Backed by the Saudi-led Arab coalition, the army advanced in the western part of Saada province, northwestern Yemen, making gains in Baqem district.

The forces also liberated Mount Al-Omani during the attack.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Yemeni army clashed with Houthi militia in Taiz, where dozens of Houthis died and several others were injured.

The Yemeni army also attacked Houthi posts in other areas in Taiz, killing 11 and wounding several others, Colonel Hamid Al-Khalidi told the Yemen News Agency.