Syrian Rebel Army Chief Severely Wounded in Car Blast

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The leader of the Free Syrian Army was wounded in a car bomb explosion early on Monday, media outlets in the Arab world are reporting.

Al Jazeera reported that Riad al-Asaad, the commander of the rebel force, was severely wounded after an explosive device was attached to his vehicle.

The explosion occurred in the city of Al-Mayadeen, in the Deir Ezzor province. One of Asaad's aids was also wounded in the attack.

An FSA spokesperson told Al Arabiya that Asaad was being treated in Turkey.

 “[Syrian President Bashar] Assad’s attempt to kill Riad al-Assaad was to punish the eastern areas, such as Al-Reqqa and Deir Ezzor, held by rebels,” Louay Almokdad told Al Arabiya. “No matter who they [Assad forces] kill, and no matter what they destroy, the uprising against the regime will continue,” he added.

Almokdad said that the FSA suspects that the bomb was thrown at Asaad's car, and not planted in it.

The rift in the Syria opposition has deepened in recent days, after the FSA announced that it does not recognize the choice, made by the coalition seeking to overthrow Bashar Assad, of Ghassan Hittom as provisional prime minister.

The Free Syrian Army leaders, fighting against Assad's regime, do not believe that Hitto, a U.S. citizen who spent most of his life in the U.S., is the right choice to lead the first government of the Syrian revolution.

Hitto, whose cabinet is supposed to govern rebel-held areas currently ruled by hundreds of brigades and emerging warlords, was backed by the Muslim Brotherhood and coalition Secretary General Mustafa Sabbagh, who has strong links with Qatar.

Shortly after Hitto's appointment, Moaz Alkhatib, head of Syria's main opposition group announced his resignation, saying that he would rather continue working freely for Syria without pressure from opposition factors and states with foreign interests.

"I had promised the great Syrian people and promised God that I would resign if matters reached some red lines," Alkhatib wrote on his official Facebook page. "Now I am fulfilling my promise and announcing my resignation," he added. 

Syrian Commander Riad al-Asaad, chief of the Free Syrian Army, in an archive photo taken from a video posted on the group's Facebook page.Credit: AP

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