A number of Lebanese newspapers and Syrian opposition sources have confirmed the death of Syrian Political Security Chief Rustom Ghazali, yet none of these reports can be verified.
Lebanese sources close to Ghazali confirmed that he entered ash-Shami Hospital in Damascus following a dispute with Syrian Military Intelligence Cheif Rafiq Shehadeh, resulting with Ghazali severely beaten by Shehadeh's bodyguards.
This story seems likely after President Assad dismissed Shehadeh from office and appointed Mohammed Mahla, according to a regime source quoted by AFP.
With regard to the death of Ghazali, Syrian opposition figure Louay al-Mekdad confirmed to ash-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper that Ghazali had died after being injected with a toxic substance. Mekdad claimed doctors could not treat its effects.
Other reports said Ghazali died from sudden brain trauma, but news of his death remained secret after security forces prevented the leak of any information concerning Ghazali from the hospital.
Another report said that Ghazali died following a heart attack while receiving treatment for his injuries.
The most likely story emanated from al-Hadath News website – which is very close to the Assad regime – and verified by a number of Lebanese politicians who were well-informed about Ghazali's situation. According to the site, Ghazali died from massive trauma inflicted on his head during the attack by Shehadeh's bodyguards.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer