The Straits Times
Published on Oct 31, 2012

Syrian air force commander reported killed: NYT


DAMASCUS - Syria's state television said on Tuesday that insurgents had assassinated an air force commander in Damascus, the New York Times reported.

The report came about even as news accounts from anti-government activists reported an intensified aerial bombing campaign against rebel targets, including the first warplane attack inside the Syrian capital since the conflict began 20 months ago.

The developments were reported a day after the expiration of a four-day truce for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha that had been widely and persistently violated. Each side accused the other of subverting the cease-fire, which was negotiated by the special Syria peace envoy of the UN and the Arab League, Lakhdar Brahimi.

An announcement carried on state television said the air force commander, General Abdullah Mahmud al-Khalidi, was killed in the Damascus district of Rukn al-Din on Monday by armed terrorist groups, the government's categorical term for its adversaries, NYT said.