Assad’s cousin arrested for killing army officer amid Alawites protests

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Suleiman al-Assad, son of the president's cousin Hilal. File photo

ARA News

Damascus, Syria – Syrian authorities arrested Monday a relative of President Bashar al-Assad, two days after protesters called for the man’s punishment over killing a regime army officer in a traffic dispute in Latakia, state news agency reported.

Suleiman al-Assad, the son of the president’s cousin Hilal, who was driving a black Hummer on Friday, was angered when he was overtaken by the car of the Syrian army officer Hassan al-Sheikh at a crossroads in Latakia. He reportedly got out of his car holding an AK-47 and pumped seven bullets into the chest of the officer.  

Hundreds of Syrians staged a protest on Saturday in the coastal city of Latakia, a stronghold of Mr. Assad and his Alawite sect, to demand the execution of Suleiman al-Assad.

“The authorities arrested Suleiman Hilal al-Assad and transferred him to the relevant parties,” state news agency SANA reported on Monday. 

The brother of the slain officer accused Assad regime of providing impunity to his relatives, calling on Alawites to continue protesting until the assailant is executed.

Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi 

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