Thursday, September 3, 2015

Key Syrian rebel leader interviewed by Trudy Rubin nearly killed

On Friday, I interviewed. Col. Abdul-Jabbar Akidi, the top rebel commander in the Aleppo area, is trying to unify the various rebel forces in northern Syria. We inside Syria, just across the border from Turkey, and one of his aides, named Ahmed, drove us from the border crossing to a guest house.

Key Syrian rebel leader interviewed by Trudy Rubin nearly killed

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Col. Abdul-jabbar Akidi, top Syrian rebel. (Trudy Rubin/Staff)
Col. Abdul-jabbar Akidi, top Syrian rebel. (Trudy Rubin/Staff)

On Friday, I interviewed. Col. Abdul-Jabbar Akidi, the top rebel commander in the Aleppo area, is trying to unify the various rebel forces in northern Syria. We inside Syria, just across the border from Turkey, and one of his aides, named Ahmed, drove us from the border crossing to a guest house.

Today I learned that Akidi was nearly killed yesterday when Syrian planes and a helicopter attacked his headquarters in an Aleppo suburb, Tel Rifaat, and Ahmed’s car was demolished.

Akidi had invited me to visit him in Tel Rifaat this weekend, and I was eager to go, especially because I had also met several men who are part of a local revolutionary council trying to organize services for the suburb’s 25,000 people.  I hesitated because Tel Rifaat, which is free of Syrian regime troops but is vulnerable to regime planes, has been attacked regularly.

I have been told (haven’t yet confirmed this) that when Akidi’s headquarters was hit, a journalist from the British newspaper, The Guardian, was inside interviewing him. Fortunately, both of them survived.  Can’t help thinking I could have been inside, too.

Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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About this blog

Trudy Rubin’s Worldview column runs on Thursdays and Sundays. Over the past decade she has made multiple trips to Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt, Turkey, Israel and the West Bank and also written from Syria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iran, Russia, Ukraine, South Korea and China. She is the author of Willful Blindness: the Bush Administration and Iraq, a book of her columns from 2002-2004. In 2001 she was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in commentary and in 2008 she was awarded the Edward Weintal prize for international reporting. In 2010 she won the Arthur Ross award for international commentary from the Academy of American Diplomacy.

Reach Trudy at trubin@phillynews.com.

Trudy Rubin Inquirer Opinion Columnist
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