Syria: Russian TV, top official dead, maybe Assad's brother

20 August, 17:36

(ANSAmed) - BEIRUT, Aug. 20 - A Russian special plane had landed in Damascus with on board "the body of a high military commander "of the Syrian regime died in a hospital in Moscow, according to the international TV channel in Arabic, Russia Today. According to unconfirmed rumors, it would be Maher al-Assad, brother of the president and chief of the Republican Guard, who was believed to had been seriously injured in an attack in Damascus on July 18th.

The Russian television (Arabic Rusiya to Yawm) cites anonymous sources affirming that "a high-ranking Syrian military died in a hospital in Moscow". His body - continues the Russian government-controlled televison, - was transferred from Moscow to Damascus on a private plane. According to the source, the plane arrived in the Syrian capital "at the end of last week." In the past few days some rumors, denied by the Syrian regime,reported the serious injury of Maher al-Assad in the attack of the Bureau of National Safety (Maq) in Damascus in mid-July, in which three other executives got killed:the Minister of defense general Dawood Rahja, the head of the anti-cell crisis,Hasan Turkmani, and the head of Maq Hisham Bakhtiyar, and Asef Shawkat. According to the rumors, Maher al Assad lost a leg and for weeks he was "between life and death." (ANSAmed).

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