Syrian rebel group says its leader has died

Associated Press
In this Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013 citizen journalism image provided by Tawhid Brigade, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Abdul-Qadir Saleh, left, the chief commander of the Tawhid Brigade, the main rebel outfit in Aleppo province, speaks to his fighters ahead of an attack on government troops, in Aleppo, Syria. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists on the ground, said Friday that a government airstrike the previous night in northern Syria killed a senior rebel figure and wounded two commanders and the spokesman of the Tawhid Brigade. According to the Observatory, the chief commander of the brigade, Abdul-Qadir Saleh, was wounded while the brigade's financial officer, Abu Tayeb, was killed. (AP Photo/Tawhid Brigade)
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In this Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013 citizen journalism image provided by Tawhid Brigade, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, Abdul-Qadir Saleh, left, the chief commander of the Tawhid Brigade, the main rebel outfit in Aleppo province, speaks to his fighters ahead of an attack on government troops, in Aleppo, Syria. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on a network of activists on the ground, said Friday that a government airstrike the previous night in northern Syria killed a senior rebel figure and wounded two commanders and the spokesman of the Tawhid Brigade. According to the Observatory, the chief commander of the brigade, Abdul-Qadir Saleh, was wounded while the brigade's financial officer, Abu Tayeb, was killed. (AP Photo/Tawhid Brigade)

BEIRUT (AP) — A prominent Syrian rebel group says its leader has died of shrapnel wounds sustained during government shelling last week.

The death was the latest blow to rebels amid advances in recent weeks by President Bashar Assad's forces.

A spokesman for the Tawhid Brigade, the main rebel outfit in Syria's northern Aleppo province, says the group's leader Abdul-Qadir Saleh died overnight.

Akram al-Halaby said on Monday that the brigade appointed Abdul-Aziz Salameh to succeed Saleh. The shelling last Thursday killed the brigade's financial officer, Abu Tayeb, and wounded another spokesman, Saleh Anadan.

The Tawhid Brigade is one of Syria's better-known and stronger rebel groups, with an estimated 10,000 fighters. Under Saleh's command, they pushed into the provincial capital of Aleppo last year, seizing large sections of the city for the rebels.

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