The leader of the Islamic State group in southern Syria blew himself up on Tuesday after being surrounded by former members of the opposition factions, a local monitoring group said.
The Ahrar Horan Gathering said that "Abu Salem Al-Iraqi" was killed after he detonated an explosive belt he was wearing after being surrounded by former fighters of the "Free Syrian Army" inside a house in the town of Adwan west of Daraa city.
A civilian who was being taken hostage by "Al-Iraqi" was wounded, and a former Free Army member who was negotiating with "Al-Iraqi" was also killed while he was trapped inside the house.
The Houran Gathering indicated that Al-Iraqi hails from Iraq, and is one of the most prominent leaders of ISIS in Syria. He had previously moved from the Yarmouk refugee camp, south of Damascus, to the Yarmouk Basin area, west of Daraa city.
Houran Gathering’s sources confirm the association of Al-Iraqi with the Military Intelligence Division in Syria, which is headed by Maj. Gen Kifah Melhem and other officers in the Syrian regime’s intelligence.
Syria’s conflict began in March 2011 and has killed nearly half a million people and displaced half the country’s pre-war population of 23 million.