Beirut – In a large-impact offensive, the Syrian rebel group Tahrir al-Sham managed accesses to the regime-held Homs security bastion in an attack that led to the death and injury of many. A top security commander was reportedly killed in the attack.
Armed militants stormed two Syrian security offices in Homs, killing dozens with gunfire and explosions including the head of military security, prompting airstrikes against the last rebel-held enclave in the western city.
Regime-run media confirmed that the head of security offices Hassan Daboul was killed in the attack. Daboul was known as a top loyalist to Syrian regime head Bashar al-Assad, going by aliases such as “Assad’s man” and “head of death department.”
Daboul gained his titles after running one of the most brutal and vicious black sites during his lengthy chairmanship of “Division 215.” He is held accountable for thousands of Syrian lives who died as a result of borderline torture.
Rebel media also reported the death of the regime’s head of state security Ibrahim Darwish.
Head of the political offices of rebel group Fastaqim Kama Umirt Zakaria Mlahfji told Asharq Al-Awsat that the regime has exploited the event of the attack at the Geneva peace talks, projecting itself as a victim of terror attacks and eventually derailing negotiations.
U.N. mediator Staffan de Mistura said in a statement that he has met with the two sides separately in Geneva while trying to get agreement on how talks – to end the six-year-old conflict – should be arranged.
He has warned not to expect any quick breakthrough and to beware of letting the violence derail any fragile progress, as happened repeatedly in the past. A ceasefire brokered by Russia and Turkey with Iran’s support is increasingly being violated.
Colonel Fateh Hassoun, a member of the opposition negotiating team, pointed the finger squarely at the regime forces for the Homs attack.
Syrian rebels still control its al-Waer district, which pro-regime warplanes bombed on Saturday, wounding 50, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
De Mistura handed a working paper on procedural issues to delegations at the talks on Friday but there appears little prospect of things moving to the key political issues that he had hoped to be able to begin addressing.