Syria’s leading opposition body yesterday blamed the government for the mysterious death of one of its members after a car accident in the capital Damascus.
Munir Darwish, 80, was a writer and founder of a Cairo-based opposition group seen as “tolerated” by President Bashar al-Assad’s government.
He joined the mainstream Syrian Negotiations Committee (SNC) in November but continued to live in Damascus.
The SNC said Darwish was the victim of “a hit-and-run outside his home in Damascus, followed by a premeditated elimination (killing)” on Friday night.
“We hold the tyrannical Assad regime responsible for Munir Darwish’s death,” the SNC said in a statement, referring to the incident as an “assassination”.
Firas al-Khalidi, who heads the Cairo Platform, told AFP that the exact cause of death remained unclear. After the car accident, Darwish underwent ankle surgery at the capital’s Mawasat Hospital and was in “excellent health”, awaiting release yesterday, he said. “At around midnight on Friday, they called to say he’s dead. I found out from his son,” he said.
Khalidi said Darwish had not left Syria since late November out of fear for his safety, even though both his sons and wife lived abroad.
“He clearly hinted that there were threats,” Khalidi added, without directly accusing the government.
“Who has an interest in his assassination, except those who hate Syria — with the regime at the top of the list?” Khalidi said.
Syria’s conflict erupted in March 2011 with widespread protests against Assad but it has since morphed into a brutal and complex war.
Numerous rounds of UN-brokered peace negotiations held in Geneva have failed to end the war, which has left more than 340,000 people dead.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Syrian girl born without legs walks on new prosthetics
Yemen rebels open to more talks if 'progress' made in Sweden
Iran arrests 10 suspects in suicide bombing that killed two
27 illegal migrants arrested in Turkey
Yemen FM pushes Aden as main airport at UN talks
Iran seeks regional front against US
Production at Libya's El Sharara oilfield continuing despite tribal protest
Turkey displays pieces of ancient mosaics returned from US
Water pipeline for illegal settlements in West Bank will harm Palestinian farmers