Cousin of Syria's Bashar al-Assad arrested in alleged road-rage killing

A cousin of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been arrested in connection with a road-rage killing.

Story highlights

  • Dead man is reported to have been a senior Air Force colonel
  • The Alawite community, to which the president belongs, calls for cousin's execution
  • Killing reportedly took place Aug. 6

Abu Dhabi, UAE (CNN)The cousin of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been arrested for a road rage incident in which he allegedly shot and killed a senior air force colonel.

According to Syrian TV, Suleiman Hilal al-Assad was arrested Monday evening on a farm outside of Latakia, the western coastal city in which the incident allegedly took place.
    The TV report said that Suleiman Hilal al-Assad was handed over to authorities who will investigate and institute legal proceedings against him.
    A cousin of Syrian president Bashir al-Assad has been arrested in connection with a road rage killing in the western city of Latakia.
    The incident may prove troubling for Syria's President, whose grip on power has been shaken by a civil war that has lasted more than four years, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths, the destruction of cities and an outpouring of refugees.
    The colonel who was killed, Hassan al-Sheikh, is reported to be from the Alawite sect to which the President also belongs, and which is a foundation of his support. The Alawite community in Latakia reportedly protested angrily after the alleged road rage killing, calling for the cousin's execution.
    The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Suleiman Hilal al-Assad shot al-Sheikh in front of his children at a traffic circle in the center of the city. The Observatory said the killing took place on August 6.