Top Assad supporter shot 30 times

2013-07-17 18:40
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beirut - Gunmen assassinated a prominent Syrian pro-government figure at his home in southern Lebanon on Wednesday, shooting him nearly 30 times in the latest sign of Syria's civil war spilling over into its smaller neighbour.

Mohammed Darrar Jammo was gunned down in the coastal town of Sarafand, a stronghold of Hezbollah. Resentment against the Shi'ite militant group has grown over its open participation in the Syrian conflict on the side of President Bashar Assad's forces.

Assassinations of politicians, army officers and journalists who support Assad's regime are not uncommon in Syria, but the killing of a well-known Syrian in Lebanon is rare. It shook the fiercely pro-Syrian town in Lebanon's south, largely bypassed by clashes and bombings that have plagued other areas.

Violence linked to Syria's civil war is increasingly washing across Lebanon, threatening to unleash large-scale fighting. On Tuesday, a roadside bomb struck a Hezbollah convoy near the Syrian border, and last week a car bomb in south Beirut wounded 53 people in the heart of the militant group's bastion of support.

The attacks point to Hezbollah's growing vulnerability over its participation in the war in Syria. The group's involvement in the fighting there has prompted warnings from Syrian rebel groups, who have threatened to retaliate on Hezbollah's home turf.

Syria's conflict has cut deep fissures through Lebanon and exposed the country's split loyalties. Many Lebanese Sunnis support the overwhelmingly Sunni uprising against Assad in Syria, while Shi'ites generally back Hezbollah and the regime. Clashes between pro- and anti-Assad groups in Lebanon have left scores of people dead in recent months, and the violence has escalated as Hezbollah's role fighting alongside the regime has become public.

Jammo, a 44-year-old political analyst who often appeared on Arab TV stations, was one of Assad's most vociferous defenders. In frequent appearances on television talk shows, he would staunchly support the Syrian regime's strong-armed response to the uprising and in at least one case shouted down opposition figures, calling them "traitors."

His hard-line stance earned him enemies among Syria's opposition, and some in the anti-Assad camp referred to Jammo as "shabih," a term used for pro-government gunmen who have been blamed for some of the worst mass killings of the civil war.

Lebanon's state news agency published a photo Wednesday of a shirtless Jammo lying on a blue sheet stained with blood, his chest riddled with bullet wounds.

The Lebanese security officials said Jammo's Lebanese wife and daughter were both in the house at the time of the attack. His daughter was later rushed to the hospital after suffering from shock, the officials said.

Captured most of a town

The officials said a Lebanese man and two Syrians were briefly detained near Jammo's house in Sarafand shortly after the shooting but were released after questioning.

Jammo's wife, Siham Younnes, told Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV that she and her husband had just arrived home, and he went up to their first floor apartment before her. "I closed the car, and as I was heading up I heard the shooting," said the women, rocking her head back and forth in grief.

In Syria on Wednesday, Kurdish gunmen captured most of a town near the border with Turkey after a day of fighting against jihadi groups in the area, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Such clashes have been common over the past moths in rebel-held areas in northern Syria.

The Observatory said the fighting in the town of Ras al-Ayn between the pro-government militia of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, or PYD, and members of al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant left at least 11 dead people dead, including nine extremists.

The Observatory said the fighting was taking place a few hundred meters from a border crossing with Turkey. It said members of jihadi groups had to withdraw from the town to nearby villages. It said Kurdish gunmen captured a number of fighters in the area.

A Turkish official said a 17-year-old youth was killed on Tuesday in a Turkish town from stray bullets coming from Ras al-Ayn. Turkey's military said it fired into Syria in retaliation for the killing.

The fighting broke out on Tuesday after the Islamic fighters attacked a Kurdish patrol in the area, capturing a Kurdish gunman. Wide clashes broke out later in the day after the Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant rejected a truce offer, according to the Observatory.

Syrian TV reported on Wednesday that a car bomb went off near a mosque in the Damascus suburb of Kanakir. It said there were casualties but gave no further details.

Read more on:    lebanon  |  syria  |  syria conflict

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.