Leadership of IS-linked southern Syrian militia 'wiped out' in suspected US strike

Leadership of IS-linked southern Syrian militia 'wiped out' in suspected US strike
2 min read
29 June, 2017
A suspected US air strike has killed at least ten senior figures in the IS-affiliated Syrian militia Jaish Khaled ibn al-Walid, including its leader.
Syria's IS-linked militia have been decimated by a second airstrike [AFP]
The leadership of an Islamic State group-affiliated militia in southern Syria has been "wiped out" in a suspected US air strike on Wednesday, according to an observatory group.

The strike targeted political, military and religious leaders of the IS-linked Jaish Khalid ibn al-Walid during a meeting in Jillan, around ten miles from the border of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Among the dead was the group's emir Abu Hashem al-Rifai, two commanders, four fighters, and three clerics from its Islamic court, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"Emir" Abu Hashem al-Rifai had only been in charge of the IS-linked militia for two weeks, taking over from another commander who died in a US missile strike in the Yarmouk Valley.

It was the second air strike on the militia's leadership this month.

Jaish Khalid ibn al-Walid has enforced a strict criminal code in the villages they control between the Jordanian border and Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

They have used beheadings and amputations in public and promoted acts that mimic the grusome punishments dished out by IS militants in Syria and Iraq.

The  group have also targeted Syrian rebel commanders in suicide bombings and have waged a feriocious war with opposition brigades in Daraa province.

Israel targeted the group last year after clashes between the IS-linked militants and Israeli troops in the occupied Golan Heights.

Jaish Khalid ibn al-Walid is formed of the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade militia that swore allegiance to the Islamic State group.

They are engaged in an ongoing war with rebel groups in the Yarmouk Valley, including the Free Syrian Army.