Report: Secret US intelligence files say Israel assassinated Syrian general
Internal NSA document leaked by Snowden says Israeli commandos killed Muhammad Suleiman in 2008
Secret US intelligence files indicate that a small team of Israeli commandos assassinated a Syrian general in August 2008, The Intercept news website reported Wednesday.
Muhammad Suleiman, one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s top aides, was shot in the head and neck as he was holding a dinner party at his seaside home. Israel has never confirmed nor denied its involvement in his death.
Citing an internal National Security Agency (NSA) document which was obtained by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the report says Israeli Special Forces carried out a military operation targeting Suleiman and that the Syrian government was not responsible for his sudden passing.
The assassination by “Israeli naval commandos” is described by the NSA as the “first known instance of Israel targeting a legitimate government official,” The Intercept said.
Anonymous former US intelligence officers confirmed to the news site that the documents were authentic, and said the classification markings indicate that the US intelligence agency learned of Israel’s involvement through surveillance.
“We’ve had access to Israeli military communications for some time,” one of the officers told The Intercept.
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