Al-Qaeda's leader in Syria has been killed, according to local reports.
The al-Nusra Front, the Sunni Islamic jihadist militia fighting against Syrian Government forces in the civil war, confirmed Sheikh Abu Sulaiman Al Masri's death this morning.
Images of his body, containing a bloody head wound, have been shared online.
It is believed he was killed in the Syrian capital of Aleppo.
The cause of his death has not yet been confirmed.
However, it is considered a devastating blow to the terror group's operations in the war torn Middle Eastern country.
Al-Nusra - or The Front for the Defence of the Syrian People - first announced its existence with a video posted online in January last year.
In the statement, the group said it was behind many of the suicide bombings that have rocked Syria since civil war broke out in the country in March 2011.
The group - which is said to target its propaganda at ordinary Muslims - has developed a reputation for discipline and honesty, according to local reports, which helped it gain a key roles in rebel-held areas in Aleppo when the uprising first began.
Fighters from Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front drive in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo
The news of Sheikh Abu Sulaiman Al Masri's death comes as Syrian troops backed by Russian air strikes battle Islamic State group fighters in a bid to restore a key supply line to the capital.
At least 28 IS fighters and 21 troops and militia have been killed in the battle for the road that leads to the government-held sector of the city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The jihadists' cutting of the highway from the rest of government-held territory on Friday dealt another blow to the regime, which has launched multiple ground offensives since Russia began an air campaign on September 30.
Aleppo was Syria's pre-war economic hub but it has been ravaged by fighting since mid-2012 and is divided between government control in the west and rebel control in the east.
Aleppo (pictured) was Syria's pre-war economic hub but it has been ravaged by fighting since mid-2012 and is divided between government control in the west and rebel control in the east.
The surrounding countryside is controlled by a patchwork of armed groups, including Islamist and moderate rebels as well as IS and its jihadist rival, Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front.
With the support of Russian air strikes, the army has recaptured territory south of the city in recent days and is seeking to break an IS siege of the Kweyris airbase to its east.
The clashes to the south of the city have killed at least 16 rebels since Friday, the Observatory said.
The army has also been on the attack in Hama and Homs provinces further south.
Twelve rebels and 14 troops and pro-government militia were killed in the fighting in Hama province, the Observatory said.