Bashar al-Assad with Damascus Mufti Mohammed Adnan Afiyuni (R), Damascus, Syria, May, 20, 2019
A mufti close to the Assad regime has been buried in Damascus after he was assassinated by a car bomb.
The funeral of Sheikh Mohammad Adnan al-Afiyuni at the Omayyad Mosque was attended by hundreds of mourners. He was killed in Qudsaya, northeast of the capital.
Afiyuni was the Sunni Mufti cleric in charge of Damascus Province. He was involved in the regime’s “reconciliation” process after forcing the surrender of opposition-held Damascus suburbs through siege, bombing, and Russian-supported ground offensives.
The mufti was one of the mediators of the 2016 surrender of Darayya, a Damascus suburb which capitulated after mass killings, a four-year siege, and intense bombing. The residents and rebels were forcibly transferred to Idlib Province in northwest Syria.
Afiyuni declared that Darayya was “living proof for all Syrians that the only option available to you is reconciliation and abandoning fighting”.
High-profile figures in “reconciliation” have been among hundreds of people killed in southern Syria, notably in Daraa Province, since pro-Assad forces reclaimed the area in July 2018.
Daraa city was the site of the start of the Syrian uprising in March 2011, after the regime imprisoned and tortured teenage boys who sprayed “freedom” graffiti on walls.