Social media and other news outlets in Lebanon and Syria reported on Tuesday that Ahmed Jibril, the 76-year-old head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, had died.
According to some reports, Jibril, whose group is loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, passed away in the Umia Hospital in Damascus hospital following a stroke he experienced three weeks ago, and the heart condition from which he suffers. Other reports said he was killed in a roadside bomb attack carried out by the Nusra Front, which opposes the Assad regime. These reports said that Jibril was critically wounded by the bomb and hospitalized in Damascus, where he died of his wounds.
However, the PFLP-GC denied the reports, saying Jibril was alive and in good health.
"It is important for us to announce that Abu Jihad [as Jibril is known] is alive and well, carrying out his missions, and the report of his death is untrue,” an official PFLP-GC announcement said.
"The report that was planted from outside is a service to the Zionist enemy, which is being beaten by the Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza, and first and foremost by the the Battalions of the Shaheed Jihad Jibril, the Front's military arm, which are personally commanded by the Secretary General.”
The PFLP-GC was founded in 1968 as a Syrian-backed splinter group from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Jibril is a steadfast supporter and ally of the Assad regime in Syria and of Hezbollah in Lebanon. He has been accused of betraying his fellow Palestinians in the ongoing Syrian civil war by helping Syrian regime forces beseige the Yarmouk refugee camp, in which about 100 residents have died of hunger.