Syria replaces security chief — news reports

A Syrian flag flutters in Damascus, Syria. (File/Reuters)
Updated 08 July 2019

Syria replaces security chief — news reports

  • Jamil Hassan, a subject of Western sanctions, has been replaced by his deputy Ghassan Ismail
  • US sanctions designation for Hassan in 2011 described Air Force Intelligence as one of Syria’s 4 main security agencies

BEIRUT: Syria’s government has replaced one of its top security chiefs Jamil Hassan, a subject of Western sanctions, pro-Damascus social media sites reported.
Hassan, who is in his mid 60s, has been replaced as head of Syrian Air Force Intelligence by his deputy Ghassan Ismail, said Tartous Now News Network and Homs News Network on Sunday. There was no official comment on Syrian state media.
A US Treasury sanctions designation for Hassan in 2011 described Air Force Intelligence as one of Syria’s four main security agencies.
Syria’s pervasive security agencies have played a major role for President Bashar Assad since the start of the conflict in 2011 by rooting out and detaining those suspected of links with the opposition.
Rights group Amnesty International says more than 80,000 people have been subjected to enforced disappearance by the Syrian government since the start of the conflict.
Last year German prosecutors issued an international arrest warrant for Hassan, accusing him of “war crimes and crimes against humanity” for his part in Syria’s war and the mass protests that preceded it.
The prosecutors accused him of overseeing the torture, rape and murder of “at least hundreds of people between 2011 and 2013.”
Syria’s government denies any widespread abuses by its security forces.
In an interview with Britain’s Independent newspaper in 2016, Hassan was quoted as saying the government should have used more force against the opposition at the start of the war.
Comparing it to the crushing of a Muslim Brotherhood uprising in Hama in 1982, he was quoted as saying “if we did what we did in Hama at the beginning of the crisis, we would have saved a lot of Syrian blood.”


Arab and world leaders pay tribute to Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak

Updated 25 February 2020

Arab and world leaders pay tribute to Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak

  • The Egyptian leader passed away on Tuesday at the age of 91

CAIRO: World leaders have paid tribute to Egypt’s longest serving President Hosni Mubarak, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 91, ending his days after a swift and ignominious tumble from power. 

The Egyptian leader was for nearly 30 years the resolute face of stability in the Middle East before being forced by the military to resign after nationwide protests that were part of the Arab world's 2011 pro-democracy upheaval. 

SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi King Salman has expressed his sincere condolences to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi over the death of the country’s former leader Mubarak, according to the Saudi Press Agency. 

Also, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent his heartfelt condolences in a cable to Sisi, where he paid tribute to Mubarak and expressed condolences to the leader’s family.

UAE

Rulers of the United Arab Emirates have expressed their condolences and solace on the death of Mubarak, a statement on state-run news agency WAM said. The country will also lower flags for one day in mourning. 

ISRAEL

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Mubarak for delivering "peace and security" to his people and for achieving "peace with Israel". 

"In the name of Israel's citizens and government, I'd like to express deep sorrow over the passing of president Hosni Mubarak," Netanyahu said, calling the long-serving Egyptian leader "a personal friend.. who brought his people to peace and security (and) to peace with Israel."

PALESTINE

Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas hailed the former Egyptian president as a supporter of the Palestinian cause. 

A statement from Abbas's office said he mourned the death "with great sorrow" and hailed the "late president's positions in support of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people in achieving their freedom and independence".

KUWAIT

Kuwait's Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al-Sabah also expressed sincere condolences on the death of Mubarak.

Al-AZHAR INSTITUTE 

Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb of Egypt's premier Islamic institution, Al-Azhar, has paid tribute to Mubarak, praising his national role and his prominent role as a hero in the October war in 1973.