Rebel commander freezes to death in Syria

Rebel commander freezes to death in Syria
Sat Dec 14, 2013 21:56:09

An insurgent commander in Syria has been frozen to death in the bitter cold brought on by a rare snowstorm that has swept the Arab nation this week, a UK-based group linked to the opposition says.

"The body of a rebel commander who was on his way from (the northwestern province of) Idlib to Homs (in central Syria) has been found. He died during the snowstorm," said the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in a Saturday statement.

The director of the Western-backed group, Rami Abdel Rahman, further explained that there were no signs of gunshots or other wounds and that the body of the militant commander was "frozen."

Abdel Rahman also described the unnamed commander as a member of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamist Suqur al-Sham brigades and in his 40s.

The group is widely considered a terrorist band that has been involved in numerous atrocities against Syrian civilians and government soldiers.

The opposition-linked Observatory further reported that the frozen bodies of two other men in their 30s were also found in Homs province on a road to neighboring Hama province, but it was not clear whether they were insurgency elements or ordinary civilians.

Syria has been struck by a severe snowstorm that has brought icy temperatures to several countries in the region.

People living in the rebel-held areas, where there are fuel, electricity and food shortages, have been especially hit hard by the frigid temperatures, as have been the refugees living in tents in neighboring countries.

Syria's war has killed more than 126,000 people in nearly three years, and forced millions more to flee their homes.

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