The following report is now a complimentary offering from MEMRI's Jihad and Terrorism Threat Monitor (JTTM). For JTTM subscription information, click here.
On October 25, 2023, an anti-Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) Telegram channel focusing on Syrian affairs reported that Russia is hiding the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, his brother Maher, and their families in a fortified location in the outskirts of Damascus.
The channel said the measure comes over Russia's growing concern that the ruling family of Syria would be a target for Israeli attacks amid the backdrop of the Hamas-Israel war.
"Russia hid Bashar, Maher, and their family in a fortified place on the outskirts of Damascus for fear of a confrontation between Israel and the militias which could push Israel to carry out its threat and bomb Bashar's residence," the report stated.
The channel is run by Salih Al-Hamawi, a member of an Al-Qaeda dismantled branch in Syria called Jabhat Al-Nusra. The channel explained why Assad would be a target for Israel, arguing that the Syrian regime ignored two rocket attacks carried out by militias stationed in the Syrian territories whose rockets target the Golan Heights, which Israel captured in 1967 and annexed in 1981. It wrote: "The regime turned a blind eye to the militias firing two small missiles that fell on agricultural lands in the Golan. Israel responded two hours ago and bombed the headquarters of the Fifth Armored Division in the town of Izraa, warehouses of the 175th regiment near the town of Qarfa, Brigade 12, and a radar battalion."
The post added that as a result of the two rocket attacks, Israel bombed several Syrian military targets in southern Syria, including weapon depots that hold long-range missiles. The channel added that explosions were heard in these depots.
 Telegram, October 25, 2023.
The full text of this post is available to subscribers.
Please login or register to request subscription information from MEMRI