Assad’s cousin reportedly killed near Turkish border
State television said that Hilal Assad was killed in the battle for Kasab town. Hürriyet PhotoRebels have killed a cousin of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during fierce clashes for a town near the country’s border with Syria, the Syrian state media has reported.
Assad’s forces have already lost control of most border crossings with Turkey during the three-year civil war but had held on to Kasab, gateway to the coastal province of Latakia that has remained an Assad stronghold.
State television said that Hilal Assad, a cousin of the president and local leader of the National Defense Force militia, which has been supporting the army’s efforts to crush the rebellion, was killed in the battle for Kasab.
The Syrian jet which was shot down on March 23 by Turkey after it crossed into Turkish airspace was bombing rebels fighting to seize Kasab when it was hit, catching fire and crashing within Syrian territory, the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The monitor said thee rebels were now in full control of Kasab, the first border crossing with Turkey seized by opposition fighters in sensitive Latakia province, President Bashar al-Assad's heartland.