The chief commander and founder of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) lost his leg after an alleged bomb that was planted in his car exploded in the early morning hours of Monday morning. The incident took place in the town of Miadeen, near the eastern city of Deir Ezzor.
A video showed Riad Al-Assaad being taken to hospital on a stretcher. The almost unconscious commander was crying out “I want to die.”
Assaad was later transferred to Turkey for medical care, Al Arabiya reported.
Turkey has long supported opposition fighters and was where the commander had his base when forming the FSA, to receive medical care.
FSA spokesman Louay Almokdad said in a video statement that Assaad survived the attack but lost his leg and is receiving medical treatment. In earlier statements to Al Arabiya, Almokdad accused the regime of President Bashar al-Assad of masterminding the assassination attempt, saying: “the atempt to kill Riad al-Assaad was to punish the eastern areas, such as al-Reqqa and Deir Ezzor, held by rebels.”
Almokdad vowed to take revenge saying those who planned the on the FSA leader will not escape punishment.
“We affirm that this attempt will not affect this great revolution and we tell those criminals that they will not escape punishment,” he said. “No matter who they [Assad forces] kill, and no matter what they destroy, the uprising against the regime will continue,” Almokdad added.
Assaad was a former colonel in the Syrian Air Force prior to announcing his defection in July of 2011. He said the purpose of forming the Free Syrian Army, which is comprised of defected officers, is to side and fight with protestors in efforts to bring down the regime and protect civilians from Assad forces crimes.