On Saturday, the military intelligence division made several transfers among its top positions within the notorious security apparatus, a military source told Zaman al-Wasl.
Brigadier General Suleiman Moussa Qanat was appointed as the head of Branch 261 in central Homs. He was the head of Branch 256 in the coastal province of Tartous.
Brigadier General Imad Ahmed Mayhoub was transferred from the head of Branch 261 in Homs to the Military Intelligence Division in Damascus.
Brigadier General Bilal Suleiman Ma’lla was transferred from Branch 261 in Homs to Branch 219 in the city of Hama.
Brigadier General Ghazi Mohamed Khalil was assigned to run Branch 256 in the city of Tartous.
According to the source, Bashar al-Assad seeks to dismiss powerful Major General Kifah Melhem, head of the military intelligence division, and Major General Ghassan Ismail, head of the air force intelligence, after reaching the legal age for retirement.
Usually, Assad’s old guards don’t leave top positions as they reach retirement age. But according to Zaman’s source, Russia advised Assad to sideline them to improve his image since both are on the US’ sanctions list.
Melhem is also on the British, European, and Canadian sanctions list.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.