News24

Syria rebels kill Russian general - claim

2012-08-08 11:01

Amman - A Syrian rebel group said on Wednesday it had killed a Russian general working as an adviser to Syria's ministry of defence in an operation in the western Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus.

A video statement from a group calling itself the "Hawks Special Operations Battalion ... a division of the Military Leadership of Damascus City and Province" gave the name of the general as Vladimir Petrovich Kochyev.

The video, sent to Reuters, showed what the rebels said was a copy of his ID issued by the Syrian military.

There was no immediate comment from the Russian authorities.

"With the help of God, the Russian adviser for the minister of defence for military scientific affairs, General Vladimir Petrovich Kochyev, has been eliminated with his personal translator, Ahmad a-Ayyouq," Lieutenant Majid Sayyed Ahmad of the Hawks battalion said in the video.

"A number of Syrian army documents have been also seized, together with reports about the opposition and the Free Syrian Army, adding to the achievements on the road to the liberation of Syria from the Assad gang," said Ahmad, who gave his title as "commander of operations and special assignments".

Professional unit

The statement did not say when Kochyev was assassinated, but a senior opposition figure in contact with the group, who did not want to be named, said he was killed about two weeks ago.

He described Hawks battalion as a professional unit led by officers who had defected from the Syrian army.

The same group claimed responsibility for the assassination of four of President Bashar Assad's top lieutenants in Damascus last month.

Among the documents the video showed was a letter by the Syrian chief of staff, Fahed al-Freij, who is also the defence minister, asking the head of the Russian military advisers in Syria to extend Kochyev's term as adviser.

The video also showed a photo of Kochyev and another Russian officer in military uniforms posing with Freij. Its authenticity could not be independently verified.

Russia, which has an estimated several hundred military personnel in Syria, is one of the few countries still backing Assad diplomatically since a popular uprising against his rule erupted 17 months ago.

Comments
  • christopher.saint.3386 - 2012-08-08 11:07

    Good!

      bradley.kecskes - 2012-08-08 11:11

      Second that..

      sansagain.sansagain - 2012-08-12 08:29

      I have to disappoint you my baby. It was a fake. Read more news and switch on your brain if toy have it

  • charljnaude - 2012-08-08 11:22

    Great

  • sean.murphy.165 - 2012-08-08 11:41

    Well done. Get rid of Assad and his Russian backers and then I hope the people of Syria never let another russian into their country.

  • sandor.l.varga - 2012-08-08 12:03

    Excellent news. People want a free election and not a military regime with iron fist. Assad is killing his own people and the World is doing nothing. UN is hopeless, my opinion: that organization is a JOKE.

  • fred.fraser.12 - 2012-08-08 15:53

    I cannot wait for ex-KGB officer Putin, who the Russian people are allowing to lead their government and who is directly complicit in the murder Syrians and their families, is shown the door when Assad falls.

      sansagain.sansagain - 2012-08-12 08:33

      I can not wait when you boil your stupid head and stop making idiotic comments here

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