Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat – The assassination of Mohammed Osama al-Lahham, brother of the Speaker of Syria’s People’s Assembly, appears to fall within the context of a campaign of assassinations targeting regime officials and loyalists. This comes following the killing of Syrian actor Muhammad Rafi in Damascus three days ago, in addition to the announcement last Sunday that opposition forces had killed a Baathist party official in the north. The brother of Daraa MP Khalid Abboud and the son of prominent MP Muhammad Khayr al-Mashi were also assassinated.
For his part, Rami Abdul-Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, announced that he had received information from Syrian activists that the forthcoming days will see more Syrian regime figures being targeted.
Speaking exclusively to Asharq Al-Awsat, Free Syrian Army [FSA] Chief of Staff, Colonel Ahmad Hijazi, strongly denied that the FSA was responsible for this assassination campaign. He stressed that “the FSA is not responsible for these assassinations and does not depend on this policy in its military strategy.”
He added “we are not a criminal gang and do not adopt the policy of assassinations. We only target those fighting against us and the [Syrian] people in the battlefield. As far as we are concerned, there is a difference between those supporting the fighting and those killing the Syrian people.”
Colonel Ahmed Hijazi said that he believed it was the regime itself that was responsible for these assassination, asserting that the al-Assad regime was attempting to warn its officials that anybody who defects to join the revolution will meet the same fate. He added that the rumours of further assassinations in the forthcoming period was leaked by the regime in an attempt to lay the groundwork for blaming these assassinations on the Syrian opposition.