A top Syrian Air Force general, Abdullah Mahmud al-Khalidi, was shot dead in northern Damascus on Monday night as he was returning home from a friend's, Al-Arabiya reported on Tuesday.
The Free Syrian Army (FSA) has already claimed responsibility for the killing of the high-ranking military official, one of Syria’s foremost experts in aviation.
“In the context of operations against the criminal regime, the Rukn al-Din Martyrs Battalion assassinated on Monday Air Force General Abdullah Mahmud al-Khalidi. He was in charge of training in the Air Force,” the FSA was quoted as saying on its Facebook page.
The rebel group added that it also “killed Air Force intelligence official Sergeant Ahmed Abdul Haq,” and issued a warning against “all those who collaborate with the regime.”
Syrian authorities have recently intensified the use of its warplanes against the rebel forces and the assassination of General al-Khalidi comes in the wake of the failed ceasefire over the Eid al-Adha holiday that was marked by airstrikes on Damascus.
Syrian opposition activists say 150 people were killed on Friday, the day the truce was supposed to come into force, and over 130 deaths were reported on Saturday as regime warplanes hammered Damascus.