Gunmen from the People's Popular Committees broke into a goldsmiths shop in the city of Jdaidat Artouz, western Ghouta, killing the owner, Yousef Wahbeh, with a silenced gun.
Eyewitness Abu Ahmed said in an exclusive interview: "We saw a black four-wheel-drive car heading towards the shop after it had stopped for about five minutes at the common checkpoint of the Syrian Army and People's Protection Committees, which was only 100 meters away, in the municipality area in the city.
“The car stopped in front of the shop, and four fighters dressed like Committees militants armed with automatic rifles got out of the car and entered. We did not hear fighting or anything suspicious. The armed men remained inside for about 20 minutes, and then left. After two hours, the owner of a nearby shop entered the goldsmith store to find Wahbeh dead in a small dressing room.
"The coroner arrived six hours later to inspect the body, and confirmed he was killed by a silenced gun, while the police who came to inspect the store documented that more than three kilograms of gold had been stolen from the shop before he was killed. The victim's family later buried him", added Abu Ahmed.
Christian goldsmiths in the city are in a state of panic following the incident, fearing similar robberies. Many of them accuse the regime army of complicity, as the army's checkpoint is no more than 100 meters from the shop. Soldiers manning the checkpoint have also been seen speaking with the gunmen who carried out the assassination and robbery.
Jdaidat Artouz is a quiet regime-held town in the western countryside of Damascus, inhabited by Christians and Muslims alike. Thousands of Syrians fleeing the conflict took shelter in the city in order to find safety.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer