Assad fires an intel chief

The Daily Beast reports: The sacking of yet another Syrian intelligence chief has raised suspicions that President Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle is fraying under the pressure of recent battlefield losses to the rebels. Disputes over the out-sized role Iran is playing to prop up the beleaguered Damascus regime are thought to be central to these internal disputes.

Ali Mamlouk, the head of the country’s National Security Bureau, and considered a trusted security adviser to the Assad family since the 1970s, has been accused of plotting a coup and placed under house arrest, according to a report today in Britain’s Daily Telegraph. In the past few weeks two other spy chiefs have been removed or killed.

In April, Rustum Ghazaleh, head of the Political Security Directorate, died in hospital after he was beaten up on the orders of General Rafiq Shehadeh, his counterpart in military intelligence, who was in turn sacked. The two argued ]over the increasing power of Iranian advisers in Damascus. [Continue reading…]

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