Bodyguard to Assad’s wife killed by anti-regime Alawites, Syrian media and attackers say

Published June 6th, 2016 - 10:10 GMT
Asma al-Assad, wife of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad (AFP/Miguel Medina)
Asma al-Assad, wife of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad (AFP/Miguel Medina)

Multiple Syrian and other media outlets are reporting that Alaa Makhlouf-the personal bodyguard to Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad-was killed via a car bomb on Saturday, June 4th by members of the Free Alawite Movement. Syria Mubasher and Baladi appear to have been the first outlets to break the story, citing regime sources and the Free Alawite Movement’s Facebook page respectively.

“We’ve killed Alaa Makhlouf, bodyguard to the wife of Bashar the beast,” the group declared coldly on Facebook after the attack. The attack took place in central Damascus. Rumors of a possible assassination against Makhlouf had been circulating for three months, Baladi claims.

The assassination is a blow to members of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle. While many in his family remain alive, some of those closest to him have been killed over the course of the harrowing five-year-long civil war that has left over 400,000 dead.

The fact that the attack was carried out by Assad’s fellow Alawites shows the division within that community. Many Alawites remain loyal to the president, but some have supported the uprising since it began in 2011.

Makhlouf was from the village of Qardahah in the Latakia governorate-an Assad stronghold. He had served as Asma al-Assad’s bodyguard for an unknown number of years.

--AL


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