Sources within Syria's
opposition reported Sunday that General Assef Shawkat, Syrian military intelligence chief and President Bashar Assad's
brother-in-law, was shot to death during an argument with his aide, General Ali Mamlouk.
The report has not been confirmed.
According to the report, an argument broke out between Shawkat and Mamlouk at the military intelligence chief's office. At some point, Shawkat pulled out his pistol and aimed it at Mamlouk, who proceeded to take his own gun out and shoot his boss. Shawkat was secretly evacuated to a military hospital in Damascus, where, the report said, he died of his wounds.
Other sources claimed Shawkat was in a coma.
A few months ago similar rumors of Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa's death spread in Damascus.
It was reported that Sharaa was shot to death during a heated argument at the presidential palace, but he appeared in public, unharmed, a short while later.
Earlier Sunday it was reported that forces loyal to Assad, mainly from the 12th Armored Brigade, clashed with army defectors in Busra al-Harir. It was further reported that nine people were killed during battles in the Idlib district.