Fierce clashes in Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor: monitor

Fierce clashes in Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor: monitor
An opposition fighter holds a position on the front line in Syria's northeastern city of Deir Ezzor on October 15, 2013.

BEIRUT - Syrian rebels advanced in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor after fierce clashes with regime troops overnight, during which jihadist fighters executed 10 soldiers, a monitoring group said Friday.

"Clashes took place overnight between rebels and regime forces in several neighbourhoods in the city of Deir Ezzor," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based group also reported regime air strikes on the city of Deir Ezzor, which lies in the eastern province of the same name, on Friday morning.

The strikes left people wounded and destroyed several houses, the Observatory said.

The group, which relies on a network of activists, doctors and lawyers on the ground, said initial reports suggested rebels had taken an area near the Rashdiya district that had been under government control.

"Fighters from the Al-Nusra Front executed 10 soldiers from the regime forces after they captured them following clashes in Rashdiya," the Observatory said.

On Thursday, state television said a senior military intelligence officer was killed in Deir Ezzor city.

"Major General Jamaa Jamaa was martyred while carrying out his national duties to defend Syria and its people and pursuing terrorists in Deir Ezzor," state television said.

The Observatory said he was killed by a sniper in clashes between jihadist opposition fighters and regime troops in Rashdiya.

Jamaa was a leading intelligence official in Syria and one of Damascus's top security officers in Lebanon during Syria's military deployment in the country between 1976 and 2005.

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