Assad Discharges Three Top Officers, Promotes Younger Brother

Published July 3rd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

By Nabil Al Mulhem 



Syrian president-designate and supreme commander of the army Bashar Assad has discharged three top officers and promoted his younger brother, Maher, to the rank of colonel. 

Details of the three officers discharge were published in an internal Syrian Army publication published annually on July 1st, sources told 

The internal periodical publication, which was signed this year by Bashar Assad, who holds the rank of staff general, was circulated among the military units, the sources added. 

Of the three officers who were discharged, Lieutenant General Kamal Youssef, who ran the military intelligence's Palestine branch, was transferred to the reserve forces. Youssef was a prominent military intelligence officer who was in charge of investigations related to leftist movements, the Muslim Brotherhood and human rights groups. Sources speculated that he may be replaced by one of his aides -- either colonel Jalal Hayek or Lieutenant Colonel Salah Hammoud.  

The other two officers, meanwhile, Lieutenant General Mustafa Tajer and Brigadier Muhsen Salman were sent to retirement. 

Salman was a senior army officer who served in Lebanon, and was recently moved to Homs, 180 kilometers north-east of Damascus. 

In an earlier report, sources speculated that Salman was to be referred to investigation over charges of corruption. 

Maher Assad has served as commander of the Republican Guards' elite unit for the last three years. 

Over the past two years, a number of other military or intelligence officers have been sacked or suspended. Among them was Marshal Ali Duba, Lieutenant General Mohammad Khouli, Lieutenant General Mohammad Nassif, and Lieutenant General Bashir Najar, who was sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of corruption -- ( 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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