Bellingcat

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Major General And Brigadier General Captured By The FSA In Damascus

This video has been recently posted online showing a Syrian Army major general and intelligence service brigadier general captured by the Free Syrian Army Update 29th June English subtitled version here


The makers of the video have gone to great lengths to ensure both men can be clearly identified, filming close up of their ID documents.  On the left is Brigadier General Mounir Shleibi of the notorious Palestine Intelligence Branch
His IDs are shown below
 

The second man is Major General Faraj al-Maqt of Syrian Central Command
His ID documents are shown below

Both are significant individuals, and the brigadier says they were captured at the Adawi highway in Harasta, a suburb of Damascus. (thanks to @Dsyrer for the translation).  This map shows the area they were captured from in relation to the rest of Damascus, with Harasta at the top of the map


It seems significant that senior military figures can be captured in Damascus by the FSA seemingly under the nose of the Assad government, and will no doubt raise serious concerns among senior officers about their own safety.

Update June 29th This video posted in March 2011 claims to show Brigadier General Mounir Shleibi at around 1:13 at the site of the Sednaya prison massacre in 2008 where up to 25 prisoners were killed during a prison riot (thanks to HamaEcho)


Bashar al-Assad's brother Maher is also visible in the video around 1:03 to 1:12.  Update June 29th Syrian Uprising Info has claimed that the above video may not in fact be filmed at Sednaya, but another massacre.

Update June 29th As the Guardian Live Blog notes Syrian State media made a brief report on the capture of Faraj Shihadeh al-Maqt, referring to him as lieutenant general, not major general as in the above video
An armed terrorist group intercepted the car of pilot Lt. Gen. Faraj Shihadeh al-Maqt in al-Adawi area and abducted him. The authorities are working to locate and free him.
Update June 29th I've been talking to various individuals about the Palestine Intelligence Branch, including HamaEcho and troublejee, who have provided more information about them.  To begin with the Palestine branch is one of 15 military intelligence branches under one of 4 intelligence divisions, as listed here.  Their name comes from what was meant to be their original function, countering Israeli covert operations, but they've actually been more focused on cracking down on Salafist and Muslim Brotherhood dissidents, as well as being involved with extraordinary rendition, which has involved working with a number of countries post-9/11, including Germany and the US, and they've been involved with the rendition of Mohammed Haydar Zammar and Maher Arar.

Related Articles
Shabiha Captured In Salqin And Confronted By Their Victim's Family
FSA Video - Captured Shabiha Confesses To Robbery and Rape
Captured Major General Defects To The FSA 

You can contact the author on Twitter @brown_moses or by email at brownmoses@gmail.com

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