Australian killed, say Syria rebels
Date: January 2 2013
AN AUSTRALIAN man has been killed while joining an assault on a military base in Syria, rebel groups have claimed.
A YouTube video released two days ago from an account connected to Syrian rebels shows a man described as al-Australi (''the Australian''), who was reportedly killed in a battle for control of a military base.
The video is set to sentimental music and shows montages of the young, bearded man staring defiantly into a camera, carefully mixing explosives and riding on a convoy in military attire. He is identified only as Abu al-Walid.
The video says the man left behind a fiancee to join the fight against the Syrian government.
His identity cannot be confirmed and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says it is unaware of any Australian national having been killed in fighting recently.
But the conflict in Syria and the breakdown of its diplomatic relations with Australia have impeded the flow of such information.
''This would be the first evidence of an Australian who has gone [to Syria] specifically to fight,'' said Shandon Harris-Hogan from Monash University's Global Terrorism Research Centre.
If confirmed, the man would be the third Australian to have been killed in the Syrian conflict.