According to top secret NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden, who still resides in Moscow, Israeli commandos assassinated a top Syrian general as he entertained at a dinner party held at his seaside, weekend home in August of 2008. He was shot in the head and neck by elements of Israel’s amphibious special forces, Shayetet 13 (Flotilla 13). The report seems to end speculation about what caused the general’s death.
Gen. Muhammad Suleiman was a top aide to Syrian President Bashar Assad and was allegedly responsible for supplying arms and training, via Iran, to Hezbollah in Lebanon, an Israeli arch enemy. Israel and Hezbollah fought a brutal war in 2006. He was also responsible for the Syrian nuclear facility, Al Kibar, which was destroyed by Israeli jets in 2007. The exact purpose of the facility is still unclear but was thought to be part of a nuclear weapons project.
The information was obtained by the NSA by surveillance of Israeli communications. In addition to the killing of Suleiman, a Snowden leaked State Department document stated Israeli commandos discovered $80 million in cash stashed at the general’s home. This supposedly caused Mr. Assad to launch an investigation into how one of his closest aides acquired so much money. Mr. Assad was said to be devastated by the discovery and worried Suleiman had betrayed him.
The NSA described the attack as the “first known instance of Israel targeting a legitimate government official.” The details of the killing were included in a “manhunting timeline” in NSA files.
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