A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

An Oddity Worth Noting: Rebels Claimed the Same Figures Killed Today Were Killed in May

 Here's an oddity worth pondering. Back in May, some Syrian rebel sources claimed to have killed six senior security officials, and the list is almost identical to those actually killed and wounded today. I never posted on the earlier claim because it seemed unsubstantiated; here's Josh Landis' post on the claim back then, and here's a report in French. According to the claim back then, the following were killed:
1) Asif Shawkat (Head of Syrian intelligence)[Actually now Deputy Defense Minister]
2) Mohammad Shaar (interior minister)
3) Dawood Rajha (defence minister)
4) Hassan Turkmani (vice president’s deputy)
5) Hisham Bikhtyar
6) Mohammad Saeed Bkheytan
The first four are confirmed dead today [update: not so clear about the Interior Minister] and the fifth is wounded. I'm not sure about number six, who's a Baath Party official.

An earlier plot gone awry, but now carried through? The earlier claim completely bogus, and the identities just a coincidence? Make of it what you will; today's deaths were confirmed by the state news agency. Will the conspiracy theorists suggest they really were killed in May and it's only being acknowledged now? (And no, I'm not suggesting that.)

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