LATEST: Report — Head of Syria’s Air Defense Forces Killed in Combat


It is more than two weeks before Syria’s June 3 Presidential election, but State media are already promoting a victory for President Assad.

State news agency SANA offers an example on Sunday morning with an article proclaiming rallies in support of Assad, the elections, and the Army:

An oratorical festival was organized near Shamdeen Square in Rukneddin neighborhood (in Damascus), with participants expressing support to presedential candidate Dr. Bashar al-Assad as the candidate who is capable of building Syria and restoring security.

The participants said that Syria will remain impregnable in the face of its enemies, and that it will continue to combat terrorism and takfiri mentality, asserting that Syrians form a unified society, and calling upon all Syrians to vote in the elections.

Claims are also made for crowds in the Damascus section of al-Lewan, in Yabroud north of Damascus — reclaimed by the Syrian military in March — and in and near Hama:

Arab university students studying at faculties in Hama organized a stand in the yard of the dormitory with popular, party and official participation….

The participants stressed their support for presidential candidate Dr. Bashar al-Assad, hailing the “pioneering” achievements that were made under his leadership in the various political, economic, social and cultural fields.

There is no mention in the article of the two nominal challengers to Assad, businessman and former Minister of State Hassan al-Nouri and MP Maher Najjar.

Report: Head of Syria’s Air Defense Forces Killed in Combat

A “security official” has said that the head of Syria’s air defence forces, General Hussein Isaac, has been killed in fighting in the key Damascus suburb of Mleha.

Regime forces have tried for months to re-capture Mleha, a gateway to the East Ghouta region.

See Insurgents Push Regime Forces Out of Mleha, Near Damascus

Video: Insurgents Claim Re-Capture of Village in Hama Province

Insurgents claim they have retaken Tel Meleh in Hama Province, inclicting casualties on regime forces and seizing a tank and BMP armored vehicle:

The Syrian military responded with airstrikes to disrupt the insurgent advance.

UN’s Ban Warns Against Cut-Off of Water to Aleppo’s Civilians

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said that the cut-off of water to civilians in Aleppo is a “clear breach” of international law.

The regime and insurgents have blamed each other for the recent halt of supplies for almost two weeks.

See Is An Insurgent Cut-Off Adding to Water Crisis in Aleppo?

“The Secretary-General notes that preventing people’s access to safe water is a denial of a fundamental human right,” a UN statement said. “He asks Member States and those with influence over all the parties to the conflict to remind them of their obligations.”

The regime said insurgents had halted operations of an electricity station needed for water delivery. The Islamic Front and opposition activists said the break in supply came after regime shelling of electrical and water facilities, with Syrian authorities delaying essential repairs at a pumping station.