Assad Relative Assassinated in Syria

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

An influential relative of Syrian President Bashar Assad, once infamous for smuggling, has been assassinated in a dispute over control of a key government stronghold, a monitor said Saturday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said Mohamed Assad was shot dead on Friday in Latakia province, the heartland of the president's Alawite community.

"Mohamed Assad, the son of one of the Syrian president's cousins, was killed by five bullets to the head in the village of Qardaha," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told Agence France-Presse.

He said the assassin was as yet unknown, but that the killing was thought to be the result of "a dispute over influence" in Qardaha, which is the ancestral village of the ruling Assad family.

There was no immediate mention of the death in Syrian state media.

Believed to be in his late forties, Mohamed Assad gained infamy in the 1980s as one of the founders of the government-linked mafia known as the "shabiha."

The group prospered by engaging in smuggling and dealing in contraband, protected by its ties with the government.

The regime in turn used the shabiha to put down political dissent, most notably since the uprising against the government that began in March 2011.

Known as "Sheikh al-Jabal" or "Lord of the Mountain", Mohamed Assad amassed wealth between 1989 and 1994 from his role in the shabiha, before going into business in the Qardaha area.

"He made hundreds of millions of Syrian pounds and is considered one of the leading members of the Assad family in Qardaha, with hired thugs in his pay," Abdel Rahman said.

The former smuggling kingpin was wounded in 2012 in a dispute with another local resident, giving rise to speculation about whether the conflict was feeding tensions in the pro-government bastion.

Assad's father Hafez was born in Qardaha, and Latakia province remains a stronghold of support for his government.

It is also a heartland for the Alawite sect, an off-shoot of Shiite Islam and the minority community to which Assad belongs.

More than 210,000 people have been killed in Syria since the beginning of the conflict with anti-government protests in March 2011.

Comments 9
Thumb skeletor 14 March 2015, 15:51

Been waiting for this one for some time now

Missing coolmec 14 March 2015, 18:56

I assume that will keep you busy this week end. I do hope you have a branch in Syria as business should be booming for you

Thumb _mowaten_ 14 March 2015, 17:30

lol, un belge qui nous ressasse de la vieille propagande anti-assad, tu as pas pu trouver mieux?

Missing imagine_1979 14 March 2015, 18:00

T'as raison, il aurait pu se baser sur des source plus credibles: sana/rusia today/al manar....
Fancy some chupachups mouwaten?...

Missing coolmec 14 March 2015, 19:01

Tout ce que l'article nous dit que Bashar a ete plus malin et plus intelligent que les Occidentaux. certes il a aide a la creation de Daesh mais il est dans une meilleure position maintenat et meme l'occident ne discute plus son depart du pouvoir pour la simple raison qu'il n'y a pas une meilleure alternative pour prendre le pouvoir

Missing peace 14 March 2015, 19:03

condoleances to M8ers....

Missing coolmec 14 March 2015, 20:15

I never meant to imply that Assad's regime is safeguarded. All I am saying is that his removal from power is being put on the back burner simply because there is no better alternative at this moment and his immediate removal will trigger chaos and disintegration in Syria whereby the islamists will get the lion's share of the country.
I still believe Bashar's wings are clipped and his demise is a matter of time of time

Missing peace 14 March 2015, 20:47

the USA never wanted to remove assad from power from day one! otherwise he wouldn't be here anymore... it is obvious and the facts also support this!
they need this regime as a protector of the golan for israel...

hezbis and the USA are allied here....

Thumb fadi_albeiruti 15 March 2015, 00:29

Good riddance, may he rot in hell.