Sunday, August 03, 2008

Muhammad Suleiman killed by a sniper in Tartous

Top Syrian general assassinated: reports - Yahoo! News: "Arab media reported on Sunday that a brigadier general thought to be the Syrian regime's liaison with Hezbollah in Lebanon has been assassinated.

The reports came almost six months after the killing in a Damascus car bomb of top Hezbollah military commander Imad Mughnieh, which the Shiite militant group blamed on Israel."

The al-Hayat report that is the source for the report of Suleiman's killing, on Friday or Saturday, only refers to the fact that he was responsible for a "senstive file." The report does not show his name.

Recall earlier incident in Iran.

Added info:

Sunday Times: "A KEY aide to the Syrian president who was assassinated last weekend in mysterious circumstances had been supplying Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, with advanced Syrian SA-8 anti-aircraft missiles, according to Middle Eastern sources." "Middle Eastern sources"

al-sharq al-awsat report. This later story in al-sharq al-awsat contains several interesting bits of information from anonymous sources: Suleiman was a friend of Bashar al-Asad and they were members of the same class (shilla) at the military academy; Suleiman was perhaps more important than the Defense Minister; his portfolio extended beyond the military and intersected with the Ba'th party.


al-Bawaba. This story alleges that the victim was Syria's connection to Hezbollah, but this claim seems to only speculation. Nothing that I have seen lends substance to the claim. A number of copycat reports draw on the al-Bawaba report but add nothing new.

Perhaps the most interesting added report is this one in the FT by Ferry Biedermann. She reports arrests in Syria and suggest this an intra-regime struggle.

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