On March 26 morning, a local official in Syria’s ruling Ba’ath Party was assassinated in the southern governorate of al-Quneitra.
The official, Fouad Rizk al-Assad, was reportedly driving his car on the Jabah-Umm Batnah road when he was targeted with an improvised explosive device. Al-Assad was killed on the spot along with his son Ali. His brother Yunis, who was with him and his son at the time, was injured.
Al-Assad was the secretary of Ba’ath Party office in Umm Batnah, which is located on the separation line with Israel in the al-Golan Heights.
A few hours after the assassination of al-Assad, unidentified gunmen shot and killed a soldier of the Syrian Arab Army 90th Brigade near the town of Rwihinah. The town is also located along the separation line, south of Umm Batnah.
The perpetrators of both attacks are yet to be identified. Local radicals affiliated with ISIS or other terrorist groups may have been responsible. It is also possible that the Israeli intelligence was complicit in these attacks.
The situation in al-Quneitra is unstable. More and more attacks target government service members as well as civilians in the governorate, despite the large presence of Syrian security forces.
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