The Times published a report by its Middle East correspondent, Richard Spencer, entitled “Assad dismisses the officer in-charge of torture in an attempt to seduce Arab allies”.
Spencer said Syrian President Bashar Al Assad dismissed General Jamil Hassan, the head of the Syrian air intelligence branch, in an apparent attempt to whitewash the regime and remove the man who was leading torture across the country and become an obstacle to rebuilding relations with Arab countries.
Spencer adds that Hassan, who headed the air intelligence branch since 2009, was responsible for managing the bombing of civilians using barrel bombs, which killed thousands in Aleppo, Homs and other cities.
According to the journalist, Hassan, who is 66, was due to reach retirement age soon, but was widely criticized for the slow-break of the Idlib opposition, which resulted in the deaths of hundreds of regime forces and militias fighting with him. Bigger as pro-Iranian, as well as his reputation as one of the pillars of Assad’s regime of terror.
The journalist pointed to reports that Hassan was an obstacle to the process of normalizing relations with other Arab regimes that are believed to be pushing Russia.