Syria confirms last weekend's assassination of military adviser

Other News Materials 7 August 2008 14:35 (UTC +04:00)

Syria has confirmed for the first time the weekend assassination of a top army officer who was also a military adviser to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, Lebanese media reported Thursday.

"(Mohammed) Suleiman, an officer of the Syrian Arab Army, has been assassinated," Butheina Shaaban, a political adviser to Assad, was quoted as saying, dpa reported.

"An investigation is under way," she added.

On Sunday, Arab media reported that Suleiman had been murdered in northern Syria.

The Saudi-owned pan-Arab daily al-Hayat quoted "informed sources" in London as saying that a senior Syrian officer had been found dead.

"The circumstances of the incident are not clear," the London- based paper said in its report, adding that the sources suggested that the slain officer had been "in charge of sensitive files and closely linked to the Syrian top brass."

Lebanese security sources said Suleiman was "Syria's liaison officer with Lebanon's Hezbollah movement."

It said he was killed by a sniper in the coastal city of Tartous.

The Lebanese anti-Syrian daily al-Mustaqbal quoted a Syrian news site as saying Suleiman was the head of security at the presidential palace in Damascus and Assad's "right-hand man."