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Report: Is Russia preparing Assad’s successor in Syria?

February 26, 2018 at 2:58 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (L) in Sochi, Russia on 21 November 2017 [Kremlin Press Office/Anadolu Agency]

Germany’s Spiegel magazine recently published a lengthy report in which it speculated that Russian President Vladimir Putin might be preparing Syrian regime General Suheil Al-Hassan to replace current President Bashar Al-Assad in a future compromise.

Published last week, the report said Al-Hassan is well known among regime supporters and is feared among his opponents.

According to the magazine, the Russian army, which began its military operations in Syria in September 2015, worked side by side with Al-Hassan while Russia has awarded him several medals most recently in August 2017 in recognition of his combat achievements.

Spiegel said Al-Assad, who is willing assassinate anyone that might jeopardise him or his leadership, would not hesitate to assassinate Al-Hassan if he threatens his rule.

Last week Al-Hassan appeared in a video threatening civilians in besieged Eastern Ghouta with more “hell”.

Read: Russia calls for anti-government forces in Syria to adhere to truce