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Syrian regime security figure Bahjat Suleiman dies after contracting Covid-19 Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff

Syrian regime security figure Bahjat Suleiman dies after contracting Covid-19

Bahjat Suleiman played an active role in Bashar al-Assad's succession [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 February, 2021

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Bahjat Suleiman was admitted to hospital earlier this month after contracting coronavirus.

Syria's former head of internal security, Maj. Gen. Bahjat Suleiman, has died after falling ill with Covid-19.

Suleiman was regarded as a top security official in Syria and had played an active role in securing current President Bashar al-Assad's succession as leader.

Born in Latakia in 1949, Suleiman graduated from Homs' Military College and later in his career would be put in charge of the security of Rifaat al-Assad's Saraya brigades in Damascus' Mezzeh municipality.

Suleiman began as a staunch supporter of Rifaat Assad, the uncle of current President Bashar al-Assad, however later switched loyalties to Hafez al-Assad.

Born in Latakia in 1949, Suleiman graduated from Homs' Military College and later in his career would be put in charge of the security of Rifaat al-Assad's Saraya brigades in Damascus' Mezzeh municipality.

Suleiman began his career as a staunch supporter of Rifaat Assad, the uncle of current President Bashar al-Assad, however later switched loyalties to the late Hafez al-Assad.

In 2005, Suleiman was among those named as wanted in the United Nations' 2005 Mehlis report following an investigation into the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. 

In more recent years, Suleiman acted as the Assad regime's ambassador to Jordan, however was expelled by King Abdullah II in 2014.

Jordan's foreign ministry at the time said Suleiman had made false allegations against the kingdom, including accusing it of harbouring Syrian rebels.

Prior to his death, Suleiman was admitted to the Tishreen Military Hospital earlier this month after suffering complications from Covid-19, according to the Levant Times.

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