Israeli minister: Time to assassinate Syria's Assad

Israeli minister: Time to assassinate Syria's Assad

An Israeli minister has called for the assassination of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad following new reports that his regime executed thousands of political prisoners and burned their bodies.
2 min read
17 May, 2017
A state of war has existed between Syria and Israel since 1948 [Getty]

An Israeli minister has called for the assassination of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad following new reports his regime has executed thousands of political prisoners.

Housing Minister Yoav Galant on Tuesday likened the atrocities to the Jewish Holocaust and warned that Assad's staunch ally Iran was also a target, Israeli media reported.

"In my view, the time has come to eliminate Assad," Galant said at a conference on ground combat outside Jerusalem.

"After the snake's tail has been cut, it will be possible to move onto the head of the snake, which is Iran. What is happening in Syria is an unprecedented low since World War II," the retired army general said.

He added that the reports of the industrial-scale killing of detainees amounted to a "genocide" and that "low-life leaders had no right to exist", referring to Assad and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani.

On Monday, the United States government said that the Assad regime that 50 detainees a day were being hanged at Sednaya military prison, about 45 minutes from Damascus.

Many of the bodies, authorities said, were then being burned in the alleged crematorium.

Amnesty International reported in February that between 5,000 and 13,000 people were executed at Sednaya in the four years since a popular uprising descended into war.

Israel has conducted several attacks inside the occupied Golan Heights targeting Lebanese militant group Hizballah and other Assad-affiliated groups over the course of the Syrian conflict.

In March, Israeli air raids targeted an arms convoys allegedly headed for Iranian-allied Hizballah, which fought a devastating 2006 war with Israel and has fought alongside the Damascus regime.

Following the Khan Sheikhoun chemical attack in April, Israel stepped up its criticism of the Assad regime with Tel Aviv military officials claiming that it had tonnes of chemical weapons.

Israel and Syria have never had diplomatic relations, and a state of war has formally existed between the two since the formation of Israel in 1948.

The housing minister, who often speaks out about foreign policy, reportedly unveiled a plan in February to rebuild Syria in return for sovereignty over the Golan Heights and a curb on Iranian influence in the region.