Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Speculation over 'killing' of Assad brother-in-law

BEIRUT — Speculation was rife on Wednesday among Syrian anti-regime activists over the alleged "killing" of President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law who is also Syria's deputy defence minister.

Assef Shawkat, former head of military intelligence, was poisoned, according to anti-regime activists. The authorities in Damascus could not be reached for comment and have not responded publicly to the claim.

According to anti-regime activists, Shawkat was being buried on Wednesday in his hometown, which they identified as Madhale, near the Mediterranean coastal city of Tartous.

Several activists quoted by Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya television said black flags were flying in Madhale in mourning.

On their Syrian Revolution Facebook page, online anti-regime activists wrote that: "Assef Shawkat is being buried right now in his home town Madhale ... God curse him. He was poisoned."

They said Shawkat's body was transported to a hospital near his hometown that was emptied of patients on Tuesday evening. Read More