UPDATE 11:30 a.m. ET: Opposition forces confirm that an airstrike near Damascus killed Syrian rebel commander Zahran Alloush Friday.
The Britain-based Syrian observatory for Human Rights said an airstrike hit an Islam Army meeting in Otaya, a Damascus suburb, killing several officials, including Alloush, according to the Associated Press. The airstrike that killed Alloush was one of 13 that hit eastern Damascus Friday, according to the Lebanon-based AL-Mayadeen TV.
Saudi-backed Alloush was among the most powerful rebel leaders and his group controls large swaths of Damascus.
Alloush's death comes one month before peace talks between Syrian leadership and the opposition were set to start in Geneva.
Original story below.
Zahran Alloush, the head of jihadi group Jaysh al Islam, was reportedly killed Friday in a Russian airstrike.
Alloush, who operated out of Damascus, was said to be in a meeting with leadership when the airstrikes started.
(Unconfirmed) reports that Zahran Alloush + other leaders have been martyred after an airstrike on a Jaish ul Islam HQ— Ibn Ismail (@ibn_Ismail9) December 25, 2015