A top commander of the Palestinian freedom fighter group, Al-Quds Brigades, was assassinated in Syria on Sunday in what the group claims was an attack by Israeli forces. The killing of Ali Ramzi al-Aswad, 31, took place in the Damascus countryside and was described as a “cowardly assassination with bullets bearing the fingerprints of the Zionist enemy,” referring to Israel. The Israeli government has not yet released a statement in response to these allegations.
Aswad’s family was displaced from Haifa in 1948 and had been living in refugee camps in Syria. He joined the Al-Quds Brigades as a young man and rose to become one of its top commanders. The group’s spokesperson expressed his condolences to Aswad’s family, saying that he had been a brave fighter who had dedicated his life to the cause of Palestinian liberation.
This is not the first time that Israel has been accused of assassinating leaders of Palestinian militant groups. In 2019, Israeli warplanes fired missiles at the home of Akram al-Ajouri, a member of the Palestinian leadership living in exile. While Ajouri survived the attack, his son was reportedly killed.
Last month, airstrikes on residential areas in Damascus resulted in the deaths of at least five people, according to Syrian officials. Although Israel has not claimed responsibility for the attack, a Palestinian group official warned that there would be “a decisive response without delay to any assassination attempt (on) the leaders of the resistance.”
Israel has been conducting hundreds of strikes on targets inside government-controlled parts of Syria in recent years. These include attacks on the Damascus and Aleppo airports, among others. However, the Israeli government rarely acknowledges or discusses these operations.
The killing of Aswad has drawn widespread condemnation from Palestinian groups, who have vowed to avenge his death. The Al-Quds Brigades have called on their supporters to take to the streets to protest against Israel’s actions and to demand justice for Aswad.
The assassination of a top commander of the Al-Quds Brigades comes at a time of heightened tensions between Israel and Palestinian groups. In recent weeks, violence has erupted in Jerusalem, with Israeli forces clashing with Palestinian protesters over the forced eviction of families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
The incident has also raised concerns about the potential for further violence in Syria, which has been embroiled in a civil war for more than a decade. The killing of Aswad could escalate the conflict and lead to retaliatory attacks by Palestinian groups.
The assassination of Ali Ramzi al-Aswad has raised tensions between Israel and Palestinian groups, with the latter vowing to avenge his death. The incident is just the latest in a series of attacks on Palestinian leaders by Israel, and it is likely to escalate tensions in the region further. It remains to be seen how the situation will unfold, but many fear that it could lead to further violence and instability in Syria and the wider Middle East.