Moments ago, the commander-in-chief of the Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) 1st Coastal Division, Imad Tabak, was assassinated in Jisr al-Shughur city in western Idlib.
While few details were given on the assasination, the FSA did release his death picture:
According to rebel groups based in Idlib, Imad Tabak was killed by a Syrian Arab Army (SAA) spy unit.
However, Al-Masdar News received no such confirmation from our military sources in nearby Latakia.
Until now, the city of Jisr al-Shughur has been jointly controlled by FSA units and Jaish al-Fatah factions such as Ahrar ash-Sham, Jund al-Aqsa and Jabhat al-Nusra.
The latter might very well have conducted tonight’s assassination in a move to weaken the FSA in Idlib; however, this remains mere speculations as no group has taken responsibility for the killing just yet.
Remarkably, the 1st Coastal Division took down a Russian helicopter in November 2015, thus causing the death of one Russian soldier.
Until now, the FSA’s 1st Coastal Division has been primarily active in Latakia province.
However, due to a large-scale government offensive from the summer of 2015 onwards, FSA fighters have gradually withdrawn from Latakia into the neighbouring governorate of Idlib.