Syria: Attorney General, Judge Assassinated; Homs Preparing for the Worst
An attorney general and a judge were killed Sunday by an “armed terrorist group,” state media reported. The opposition said “unknown assailants” were to blame.
Attorney General Nidal Ghazal, Judge Mohammed Ziyadeh and their driver were fatally shot on their way to work by an “armed terrorist group,” the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported.
The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also acknowledged the deaths, but said the three were killed by “unknown assailants.”
But Idlib rebels denied responsibility for the assassination, claiming that Ghazal was an opposition sympathizer. They also challenged SANA’s account of the victims, saying a doctor and Ghazal’s assistant were among those killed, while the driver was only wounded.
“The regime continues with a series of assassinations of leaders and officials who sympathize with the rebels,” said an activist with the opposition coordination committee in Idlib province, who asked not to be named for security reasons.
“What the regime is trying to do is frame the rebels as criminals,” the activist said, citing the recent killing of the Red Crescent director in Idlib, Dr. Abdel Razak Jibaro, as an example of this strategy.
Rebels said they kidnapped the son of a top security official in Idlib, Brigadier General Nofal Hussein, in retribution for Ghazal’s murder.
Meanwhile, many opposition activists from surrounding villages traveled to the town of Taftanaz Sunday afternoon, to attend Ghazal’s funeral, a sign that he was against the regime.
The Idlib deaths follow the Saturday assassination of Aleppo city council member Jamal al-Bish, who was also killed by an “armed terrorist group,” SANA said. And last weekend, SANA reported a Syrian general was gunned down in Damascus — perhaps the first significant hint that the resistance is spreading to the seats of power.