Assad moves forces from Golan to suppress violence

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Syria’s defense minster and several other government officials were killed or hurt by a suicide bomber in Damascus, a day after Israel’s army intelligence chief said President Bashar al-Assad had moved troops from the Golan Heights to the capital.

Also killed in Wednesday’s blast was Assad’s brother-in-law, who was Syria’s deputy defense minister. The bomber, who struck during a meeting of government and security heads, reportedly was a bodyguard. 

The blast comes after four days of clashes in Damascus between government troops and anti-government activists.

“Assad has removed many of his forces that were in the Golan Heights to the areas of conflict (inside Syria),” Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi told a Knesset committee Tuesday, according to news services briefed by a Knesset spokesman. “He’s not afraid of Israel at this point, but mainly wants to augment his forces around Damascus.”

Follow us on Twitter for breaking Jewish news updates.

Click to login and write a letter to the editor.