Assad’s brother accused of orchestrating Syria chemical attack

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Maher al-Assad, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s brother, is being accused of involvement in Syria’s recent chemical weapons attack, the Guardian reported on Saturday.

Not seen for a year, Maher has remained in the shadows commanding Syria’s most formidable military division, while his brother has been in the public eye.


According to the Guardian, the question on the lips of many Syrians is to what extent has Maher played a role in the most recent atrocity witnessed in Syria.

The 4th Armored Division that Maher commands has been a chief protagonist on behalf of the regime. He has allegedly acted as division commander since 2000, and at the same time leads Syria's other premier fighting force, the Republican Guards.

The unit was active last week as loyalist forces launched their biggest operation yet to root out rebel groups from the capital.

The 4th division has remained relatively unaffected by desertions and defections that plagued other divisions in the first 18 months of the war.

Maher’s last public appearance was several weeks before an explosion in a meeting room in central Damascus killed security chief, and the Assads' brother-in-law, Assef Shawkat.

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