A well-informed source told Elaph Journal that Farouk al-Sharaa was beaten on Sunday in his home.
BEIRUT – A pro-opposition media outlet has reported that Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa was “severely beaten” in a regime bid to kill him.
A well-informed source told Elaph Journal that Sharaa was severely beaten on Sunday in his home where he is under house arrest for opposing President Bashar al-Assad’s policies.
The source said that a number of soldiers had broken in to Sharaa’s residence and beat him severely.
According to the source, it is likely that “Assad gave orders for a new witness to his crimes to be done away with and decided to assassinate Farouk al-Sharaa.”
“After the death of Major General Mohammed Nasif [Kheirbek] only a very small number of witnesses to [Assad’s] crimes remained […] and Sharaa was [one of] them.”
Kheirbek—Syria’s deputy VP for security affairs and a top regime insider—died Sunday at the age of 78.
Sharaa—who became VP in 2006—is the highest ranking Sunni in the Assad regime; however, his post is mostly ceremonial.
In 2012, reports emerged that Sharaa had fled Syria, however the government denied the news and the VP made a public appearance to show he was still in the country.
Nonetheless, pro-opposition outlets alleged that he had been placed under house arrest, while Sharaa himself revealed in a December 2012 interview with Al-Akhbar that he had political differences with Assad and opposed a military solution to the Syrian crisis.
Seven months later, Sharaa lost his post in the ruling Baath Party after 15 members of its Central Committee were replaced.
In 2014, the UN’s former troubleshooter for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said that he had tried to meet with Sharaa a number of times, but was always denied access to the vice president by the regime, further fuelling speculation the VP had been placed under house arrest.