Websites of the Syrian opposition reported Monday morning that Colonel Eyad Mandou, the head of intelligence for the Syrian Air Force, was killed. Several opposition sources claimed that Colonel Eyad Mandou, branch head of the Damascus air intelligence, was killed by elements of the Free Syrian Army in the town of Al-Ghuzlaniyah on the airport road. Colonel Mandou was accused of ordering the killing of demonstrators in Damascus area.
The assassination of Colonel Mandou is yet to be confirmed by independent journalists or sources. But if confirmed, FSA has proven, once again, its ability to strike at the heart of the security apparatus of the regime.
Meanwhile, Turkey said on Monday it was closing its embassy in Syria and recalled its ambassador, citing the deteriorating security situation in the country. Activities at the embassy in Damascus are "temporarily suspended," but the consulate in Aleppo remains operational, said a brief statement posted on the Embassy website Sunday night.
The embassy was closed because of the situation in Syria, said a ministry official, on condition of anonymity. The Turkish ambassador and other diplomats will return home.
The decision came 48 hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey was about to sever its diplomatic ties with Syria. Turkey, which shares 911km of border with Syria, said it can not ignore the atrocities that take place in Syria.
Also Monday, the Sunday Times quotes a defector from Syria’s security forces as saying that after losing its strongholds in the north, the Syrian opposition is sending fighters to attack government targets in Damascus.
Syrian activists say security forces have bombarded the central city of Homs, setting fire to houses and killing at least five people. Another source told Alarabiya news that 70 people were reportedly killed across Syria on Sunday in various battles.
It is impossible to verify reports from Syria because authorities have denied access to independent journalists or foreign reporting in the country.
The United Nations says more than 8,000 civilians have died in the slaughter perpetrated by President Bashar al-Assad's troops in an effort to quell the anti-government uprising, many of them tortured, including hundreds of women and children.