Bowing to public protests, authorities in Syria have issued an arrest warrant against Suleiman Hilal Al-Assad, President Bashar al-Assad's cousin, for allegedly shooting dead a Syrian army colonel following a car accident in Latakia City.
The road rage shooting took place on Thursday night (6 August), after vehicles belonging to Suleiman and Colonel Hassan Al-Sheikh were involved in a collision in Latakia City.
Suleiman, who is the first cousin of Syrian President Assad and a member of National Defence Forces (NDF), a civilian-led militia, opened fire on Al-Sheikh with a Kalashnikov. The brother of Al-Sheikh, in a radio interview with Syrian radio station Sham FM, told "[Suleiman] overtook us and then blocked the road."
"My brother got out of the car and identified himself as an officer, the guy cursed my brother and the Syrian army. He then pointed a Kalashnikov [assault rifle] out of the car's window and shot at us, and that's when I saw my brother was killed."
Al Masdar News reported that the local authorities have issued an arrest warrant and are looking for Suleiman.
Suleiman Al-Assad is the son of former National Defence Forces (NDF) leader Hilal Jamil Al-Assad, who died in 2013. Jamil Assad is the younger brother of late Syrian president Hafez al-Assad, and the uncle of President Assad.
The Telegraph reported that the incident has triggered a "rare public display of discontent" among residents in Latakia. Locals are now demanding President Assad 'bring Suleiman to justice.'
— Zaid Benjamin (@zaidbenjamin) August 7, 2015