Gen. Fahd Jassem al-Freij moves into defense hours after minister killed
He was appointed shortly after Syrian defense minister Gen. Dawound Rajiha and Bashar Assad’s brother-in-law Assif Shawqat were killed by a suicide bomber in a top-security building in Damascus. Gen. Al-Freij was formerly commander of Syrian military maneuvers. Since the bombing, five explosions were heard near the military base in Damascus of the division led by Assad’s brother Maher, another member of the presidential elite. The rebel commander has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack on top regime officials.