Syria's state-owned news agency SANA is claiming today that three gunment killed a high-ranking army general on Saturday morning as he left his home in the Damascus neighborhood of Rukn-Eddine.
Brig. Gen. Issa al-Khouli was a doctor and chief of the Damascus military capital according to the Associated Press, with SANA writing that al-Khouli was head of the Arthritis Division at Tishreen Military Hospital in 2004, then he held the position of chief doctor at Martyr Ahmad Hameesh Hospital.
Capt. Ammar al-Wawi of the Free Syrian Army, a rebel group formed in July out of Sryrian Armed Forces defectors seeking to overthrow Bashar Assad's regime, denied that his group was behind the attack.
The report of the attack comes a day after two suicide bombers set off car bombs outside security installations in the northern city of Aleppo, killing at least twenty five.
Along with Damascus, Aleppo is one of the most pro-Assad cities in Syria, and the two cities—the country's largest—have largely been spared from the violence that has spread throughout Syria during the 11-month uprising. Saudi historian Dr. Mashary al-Naim mused in that country's Al-Riyadh newspaper about how Damascus has become the hand-puppet of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. Syrian rebels have been anxiously waiting for citizens of the two cities to join the rest of the country in the uprising.
Rebel leaders have doubted the authenticity of the Aleppo bombings, instead proposing that the regime staged these false flag attacks to distract from its own killing in the rebel stronghold of Homs. The Syrian army relaunched its assault on the city today, with tanks and rockets shelling Homs indiscriminately.
Fawaz Tello, an Egyptian-based member of the oppositionist Syrian National Council, told The Guardian that Assad cannot push his troops into street fighting, [...] so he is content with shelling Homs to bits until civilian losses pressure the Free Syrian Army to withdraw and regime troops can enter these neighbourhoods without taking any serious losses.