Media sources have reported that Brig. Gen. Ali Mamluk, National Security Chief in the Syrian regime, is currently fighting for his life in a Damascus hospital in mysterious circumstances. Kuwait’s Al-Siyasah newspaper published a story on 30 April suggesting that Mamluk was the one who killed Brig. Gen. Rustum Ghazali days earlier using a poisonous cyanide injection and upon orders from the head of the regime Bashar Al-Assad himself.
Al-Aan satellite TV Channel has reported that Mamluk is currently lying inside Al-Shami Hospital within Al-Muhajirin district in the centre of the capital where he is receiving treatment for leukaemia. Other sources cited by the channel suggest that he is actually under house arrest imposed on him by the Syrian regime following the detection of a telephone call between him and the Turkish Intelligence Services shortly before Ghazali’s death.
Should Mamluk die in the coming few days he will be the fourth defendant in the case of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Al-Hariri. The other deceased suspects in the 2005 assassination of Al Hariri are: Ghazi Kanaan, Jami Jami and Rustum Ghazali. It is believed that Asif Shawkat, who was killed in a bomb attack in 2012, had vital information about the assassination.
According to the Kuwaiti newspaper’s report Ghazali was badly beaten and remained in a coma for 18 days before regaining consciousness after which Mamluk injected him with cyanide.
The attack on Ghazali took place in the street by men accompanying a senior officer (believed to be Rafiq Shihadah) upon direct orders from Mamluk. When it turned out that he was still alive he was given several injections that affected his heart and induced the coma. The assailants thought he had no chance of recovering. However, he did recover on 17 April and made a phone call via a member of his staff who was with him at the hospital to the office of Saad Al-Hariri asking to be given a chance to appear on Al-MustaqbalTV channel to announce something unknown to the public. It was then that Mamluk injected him with the fatal dose of cyanide.
The Kuwaiti newspaper’s report quotes a member of the Ghazali family as saying: “Immediately after the phone call was made from outside the hospital, Ghazali’s companion, who was an army major, was arrested and promptly liquidated. Ghazali was then forcibly injected with the deadly cyanide.”
The report also said that the Syrian security services prohibited the Ghazali family from opening his coffin prior to his burial. This happened after the security services arrested 30 of his tribesmen in Daraa; their whereabouts remain unknown four days after their disappearance.