On Sunday, Liwa al-Quds (pro-government Palestinian paramilitary) lost one of its most prominent commanders during clashes in northeastern Aleppo. Colonel ‘Mohammed Rafi’ was killed while leading his Palestinian Sunni fighters on the frontline during initially tough urban warfare with Islamist rebel factions on the perimeter of the Hanano district.
Mohammed Rafi, sometimes refered to as the ‘Godfather’, was personally decorated by the Russian military in early October following the liberation of the Handarat camp, a battle the colonel himself helped plan and which lay the groundwork for more recent advances.
Hundreds attended the funeral of the Liwa al-Quds commander which took place earlier today. As the photos reveal, Mohammed Rafi was highly revered by Syrian loyalists.
Samer Rafi – the younger brother of Mohammed Rafi – has now been appointed to replace the deceased colonel’s role in Liwa al-Quds and spearhead further assaults on the remaining rebel-held districts in Syria’s largest city, Aleppo.