Syria's government on Wednesday officially confirmed the assassination last week of a senior military officer, who served as a close aide to President Bashar Assad. The confirmation by presidential adviser Buthaina Shaaban was the first official comment by Syria on the assassination of Brig. Gen. Mohammed Suleiman. The killing was first reported last Saturday by Albawaba.
According to the AP, Shaaban told reporters Wednesday that investigations were under way. Suleiman was shot dead by a sniper in the northern port city of Tartous Friday night.
Meanwhile, she said indirect peace talks between Syria and Israel have made progress but not enough to move to face-to-face talks as favored by Tel Aviv. "If the talks had not progressed then they would have been stopped," said Shaaban. According to her, the talks will continue despite the impending resignation of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. "We are not concerned with whether Olmert resigns or not. We are not a party to internal Israeli issues," the senior Syrian offical told reporters.