Syria rebel icon Abdel Basset al-Sarout dies after Hama clashes

Syrian footballer who became a symbol of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad has died of wounds sustained in clashes in the north-west.

Abdel Basset al-Sarout, 27, died in the Hama province, his rebel faction says.

A promising goalkeeper for Syria’s youth team, he sprang to prominence in his home city of Homs in 2011 as one of many who staged street protests.

He had survived a brutal government siege of Homs, although many of his family members were killed there.

Bildergebnis für Syria rebel icon Abdel Basset al-Sarout dies after Hama clashes

The story of Abdel Basset al-Sarout in many ways traces the trajectory of the revolution in Syria – from the heady days of hope to the grim war of attrition that has kept President Bashar al-Assad in power, the BBC’s Sebastian Usher says.H

His death was announced by a commander of the Jaish al-Izza rebel faction fighting in Hama.

The commander described Mr Sarout as a “martyr”.

Meanwhile, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said he had been wounded in clashes between Thursday and Friday and died on Saturday.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights, a non-government organisation which monitors the Syrian war, also said he died on 8 June.

The Syrian army has not publicly commented on the reports.

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