Rami Abdul-Rahman of the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Al-Ikhbariya TV say Yasser al-Abboud was killed during fighting on Monday in the town of Tafas, in the southern province of Daraa.
Al-Abboud was among the first high-ranking Syrian army officials to publicly defect and join the rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad's regime. Most military defectors were low-level conscripts, who formed part of the Syrian Free Army.
Al-Abboud once commanded the military council of the FSA and led a rebel brigade in Daraa.
Syria's uprising, now in its third year, began as mostly peaceful protests against Assad but descended into a civil war that has killed 100,000.
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