Prominent Syrian commentator and leading Assad supporter assassinated in Lebanon

 

Beirut

A prominent Syrian commentator and known supporter of President Bashar al-Assad has been assassinated in southern Lebanon.

Mohammad Darro Jamo, a popular guest on Syria’s state television shows and a leading figure in the Global Arab Expatriates Organisation, was shot more than 20 times by gunmen at his house in Safarand.

The attack took place in the early hours of yesterday morning; hours after Mr Jamo had received a warning from Syria’s ruling Baath party about his security. It is the first political assassination of a Syrian on Lebanese soil since the start of the Syrian conflict in March 2011.

Earlier on Tuesday, a Hezbollah convoy was targeted by roadside bomb near the Masnaa border crossing with Syria, killing one person and injuring two Hezbollah officials.

Mr Jamo, 48, a Syrian Kurd, had lived in Sarafand with his Lebanese wife Siham Younis for 20 years. She was with him at the time of the attack but was unharmed. The assailants seemed aware that the security cameras outside the house were faulty, local press reports said. Lebanese security forces have apprehended a Syrian man and are on searching for a Lebanese accomplice. It is suspected supporters of the Syrian rebel opposition were involved in the killing.

Sunni Muslim rebel groups have threatened to target Hezbollah in Lebanon, in retaliation for the involvement of its fighters in Syria, where Hezbollah militants are fighting alongside Assad’s forces.

The Syrian state media blamed the assassination of Mr Jamo on “armed terrorists”. Lebanon, whose own 15-year civil war ended in 1990, is becoming increasingly embroiled in the Syrian conflict. Car bombs and clashes between groups supporting opposite sides of Syria’s war have become increasingly common across the country.

Yesterday’s assassination, deep inside an area where Hezbollah is in charge of security, appears to demonstrate the rebels’ ability to hit targets far from Sunni areas where they have most support.

Last week a bomb injured more than 50 people in Dahiyeh, a Hezbollah stronghold.

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