Head of Syrian intelligence is dead

Friday, July 20th, 2012 4:46:59 by

Hicham Bekhtyar, who was injured in Wednesday’s bombings in Damascus, succumbed to his injuries today according to a local Syrian channel

“The command of Baas extends its condolences to the people after the death of Comrade, General Hicham Bekhtyar, the national security chief, who succumbed to his injuries before noon,” said the television.

His death was announced as Syria held funeral ceremonies for the three other security officials who died in Wednesday’s bomb attack’s including Bashar Al-Assad’s brother-in-law who was the minister of defence and a veteran army general.

Meanwhile, after heavy fighting in the Midane neighbourhood near Damascus, the army has ‘cleaned’ the area according to a state television.

“Our valiant forces completely cleaned the Midane region which hosted terrorists and mercenaries.”

In the last 48 hours, some 30,000 Syrians have taken refuge in Lebanon according to UNHCR.

“Thousands of Syrians have crossed the border into Lebanon yesterday. According to reports, between 8,500 to 30,000 refugees have crossed the border in the last 48 hours.”

UNHCR has grave concerns about the security situation, particularly in Lebanon, where around 800 Syrians are living in villages in the volatile area along the border with Syria.

“The communities that host refugees bear a heavy burden, because the influx of refugees puts strong pressure on the infrastructure and local resources, especially water, housing, schools and health facilities,” said a UNHCR spokesman.

Moreover, the statements of the Ambassador of Russia in Paris on a possible departure of the Syrian President are “unfounded” according to a Syrian state television. Alexander Orlov, the Russian Ambassador in France, said that Bashar Al-Assad has ‘agreed
to leave’ but ‘in a civilised manner’.

On the diplomatic front, Russia and China vetoed on Thursday, a resolution that threatened the power of Syrian sanctions. This is the third time these two countries have vetoed resolutions that exert pressure on Assad’s infamous regime.

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