Killing of Brig. Gen. Issa al-Khouli is the first of a high-ranking military officer in the Syrian capital since the uprising against the Assad regime began.
Gunmen assassinated an army general in Damascus on Saturday in the first killing of a high military officer in the Syrian capital since the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s regime began in March, the state-run news agency said.
SANA said three gunmen opened fire at Brig. Gen. Issa al-Khouli in the morning as he left his home in the Damascus neighborhood of Rukn-Eddine. Al-Khouli was a doctor and the chief of a military hospital in the capital. No one claimed responsibility for the killing.
The attack indicates that violence in Syria is reaching the tightly controlled capital, which has been relatively quiet compared to other cities. Such assassinations are not uncommon outside Damascus and army officers have been killed in the past, mostly in the restive provinces of Homs and Idlib.
The UN estimates that 5,400 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising began in March. But that figure is from January, when the UN stopped counting because the chaos in the country has made it all but impossible to check the figures.
At least 26 people were killed by Syrian government forces in two restive areas on Saturday, opposition activists said.
On Friday, bombs in Aleppo killed at least 28 people.
The two Aleppo bombings on Friday were the worst attack to hit the country’s commercial hub during the revolt against the 42-year dynastic rule by the Assad family.
At the United Nations on Friday, Saudi Arabia circulated a draft resolution backing an Arab peace plan for Syria among members of the UN General Assembly, after a similar text was vetoed in the Security Council last week by Russia and China, diplomats said.