Syrian President Bashar Assad's top aide and adviser, General Mohammed Suleiman, was assassinated on Friday, according to Arab news sources.
Suleiman, who was also Syria's liaison officer to the Hizbullah terrorist organization in Lebanon, was shot and killed by an unidentified sniper in the Syrian port city of Tartous.
Syrian authorities tried unsuccessfully to prevent publication of the news. The country's Albawaba newspaper, which reported the incident, speculated that Israel might have been behind the killing.
Both Albawaba and the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper raised the issue of last February's assassination of Hizbullah second-in-command Imad Mughniyeh, who died in a car bombing in Damascus. Syria blamed Israel for the killing, but Jerusalem denied any involvement.