Assad's cousin killed during battle with rebels in Syria

A cousin of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was killed during a battle with Islamist rebels near the border with Turkey, activists and state media reported.

President Bashar al-Assad. Credit: Reuters

Hilal al-Assad, local head of the National Defence Force militia, and seven of his fighters were killed in clashes with the Nusra Front and other Islamist brigades.

The National Defence Force is a militia set up to support the army in its three-year battle with rebels seeking to overthrow Bashar al-Assad.