Syria denies report on assassination of senior officials
According to several sources within the Syrian opposition, a "heroic operation" was conducted last night against the senior staff of President Bashar Al-Assad, who met in a convention center to discuss the crisis. According to the opposition information, which is difficult to confirm, the operation resulted in the hospitalization of at least six senior members of Assad's inner circle, with some of them died ...
The Military Council of the Free Syrian Army has released a statement confirming the rumor circulating in Damascus since last night. The statement claimed the operation was "conducted by a cook put poison in the food served to these senior officials before joining the revolution." The members of "the crisis management unit" is composed of General Daoud Rajha (Defence Minister), Assef Shawkat (deputy defense minister and brother in law of President Assad, former head of military intelligence), Hassan Turkmani (military adviser to Assad and former Chief of Staff) and Mohammed Shaar (Interior Minister), as well as leaders of the Baath party including Hisham Bakhtiar and Mohamed Said Bakhtiane.
Several opposition sources said these six officials were admitted to Al-Shami hospital in Damascus, and some of them died of poisoning.
Syria's state media denied the report. Turkmani and Shaar were also interviewed by the channel, mocking the news about their death. Turkmani said in a statement "The news reported by al-Jazeera is completely baseless and reflects full media bankruptcy".
Gen. Turkmani added " We are performing our duties.. these calims are a blatant lies and an evidence of media bankruptcy, and we are safe and serving our country assuredly."
For his part, Minister of Interior Lieutenant General Mohammad al-Shaar said "the news reported by al-Jazeera is groundless", asserting "We are used to hearing such news led by the lies and allegation campaign."
Unconfirmed reports from the Syrian capital have claimed the closure of several main roads in Damascus, leading notably to Al-Shami. Mobilization around the hospital was at its height, and clashed reported in Kafar Soussa. Opponents also argued that a military plane took off in the night of from the military airport of Mazzeh – indicating a significant event occurred.