Skip to main content

Syria: clashes in Damascus countryside with Maher Assad brigade leave 5 dead

The residents of Zakia town had been raising anti-regime banners, and a man was killed by local militias affiliated with Maher al-Assad’s Fourth Division this week.
Tens of thousands of people rally in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on October 26, 2011, as an Arab delegation led by Qatar was headed for Syria for mediation between the Syrian government and its opponents. The demonstrators, waving Syrian flags and brandishing pictures of Assad and his brother Maher (L), swarmed to Omayyad square in the heart of Damascus. AFP PHOTO/LOUAI BESHARA (Photo credit should read LOUAI BESHARA/AFP via Getty Images)

At least five people were killed on Thursday in clashes between local militants and residents of a town in the Damascus countryside, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a Britain-based monitoring group with a vast network of sources on the ground.

The SOHR said the violence erupted after a group of militants affiliated with the Fourth Division of the Syrian army, an elite brigade led by President Bashar al-Assad’s brother Maher al-Assad, killed a man in the town of Zakia while attempting to arrest him on Wednesday evening.

According to the opposition-affiliated news website Sawt al-Asima (Damascus Voice), Nazeer Shaaban, a 37-year-old resident of Zakia, was shot multiple times in the chest by Jamal Noureddine, a member of the Fourth Division-affiliated group.

The killing reportedly came after Shaaban found out that Noureddine and Muawiya Tohme, the leader of the local militia, had intentionally bombed a shop that maintained water well equipment in the town earlier this month because of a dispute with its owners.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.