Syrian Air Force Intel Chief Assassinated
The bleed of top administration officials from the regime President Bashar al-Assad is continuing, with the latest incident having occurred over the weekend.
The head of Syria's Air Force intelligence has been assassinated by an aide, Arab media sources report.
Lt. Jamil Hassan, an Alawite like President Bashar al-Assad, was murdered Saturday in his office, according to the pan-Arab Al-Arabiya news network.
The Homs native was considered one of Assad's closest advisers.
He was allegedly killed by an aide who worked with the Ahfad al-Rasul (Grandchildren of the Prophet) Brigade, sources linked to the Free Syrian Army said.
The FSA has also reported that at least 49 Syrian Army military officers abandoned their posts over the past three days, with the FSA having secured their crossing into Jordan.
At least two brigadier generals have defected from the Assad regime. The most recent was Brig.-Gen. Mohamed Musa al-Khayrat, who crossed into Jordan on Friday, along with eight family members. Four top officers from the army's reinforcement section were among the other military defectors, the FSA said.
Earlier in the month, Syrian Prime Minister Riyad Hijab defected to Jordan as well. Hijab entered Jordan in the early hours of August 8, 2012 along with family members, according to Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications Sameeh Mayta.