Assad Dismisses Officers Responsible for Protecting Him

A security team, supervised by Asma al-Assad, collected information about the officers responsible for guarding the presidential palace, according to Sawt al-Asima.

According to a security source, Bashar al-Assad has abruptly removed three high-ranking officers and other security personnel from their duties. He issued orders to place them and their families under house arrest. The source revealed that a security team, supervised by Asma al-Assad, collected information and reports about the officers responsible for guarding the presidential palace, Bashar al-Assad’s convoy, and the National Security Division.

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Upon learning about the information gathered by Asma al-Assad’s team, Bashar al-Assad dismissed Major General Fayez Juma’a, who oversees the presidential special convoy and Bashar al-Assad’s movements, Brigadier General Moeen Shehadeh, who leads the protective escort unit, and Rafiq Shehadeh, the former major general’s brother in the Military Intelligence Division.

Furthermore, Bashar al-Assad ordered the officers mentioned in his wife’s report to be placed under house arrest, with their property and their families’ assets seized. He also suspended the security cards of their associates. The source disclosed that the two officers were involved in smuggling cars from Lebanon and Iraq into Syria through illegal routes. They abused their positions, owned illicit properties, and collaborated with traders in exchange for facilitating customs clearance for incoming shipments and illegally transferring large sums of foreign currency out of Syria. Additionally, they issued security cards and weapon licenses to individuals close to them who were wanted in criminal cases.  

The source highlighted that among the confiscated properties were 30 luxurious and modern cars that had been brought into Syria without customs restrictions. These cars were found parked in the garage of a security branch, and their specifications were being altered before granting them security traffic plates. Additionally, significant amounts of foreign currency and quantities of gold were seized from villas and palaces owned by the two officers.

The source revealed that the investigation issue incriminated both Fayez Jumaa and Moeen Shehadeh for possessing a minimum of four multi-story buildings in the Maliki, Abu Rummaneh, and Kafarsouseh areas. They were also found to own real estate, restaurants, and shops in Damascus, which they had acquired or transferred ownership to in exchange for providing security and economic advantages to traders and businessmen.

As per the security source, Bashar al-Assad attached his initial decision to freeze and isolate certain officers from the National Security Branch, State Security Branch, Military Intelligence Division, and Branch 40.

The source mentioned that among these officers is Major General Mohamed Mahla, the former head of the Military Intelligence Division, who is currently serving in the National Security Directorate. The decision stated that his authority would be limited and suspended in his current position until the end of the year.

 

This article was translated and 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.

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