Russian, Arabic and Israeli news sources have confirmed the death of Syrian President Bashar Assad who was apprently shot by an Iranian bodyguard named Mehdi Jacoby, on Saturday night, 23rd March 2013.
"The lone assassination pumped several bullets at point blank range into Assad," said the source. "Assad was rushed to Al-Shami Hospital in Damascus in critical condition. He died on the operating table from heart failure resulting from massive blood loss."
Amid concerns that Iran will attempt to control the Syrian army, an Israeli security analyst believes the report to be accurate.
"In the last 24 hours have we seen Assad? Any photographs or video? No. Nor will we see any as loyalists who are closest to Assad have been threatened if any leaked photos or reports reach Western media. Iran is attempting to take control of the Syrian army and its wealth of weapons as Syrian solders are now deserting in mass. I don't believe that the West will allow any Iranian control of Damascus."
The Israeli analyst said that several events have taken place in the last 24 hours including the Syrian army shooting at an Israeli border patrol unit. It is believed that this action was coordinated by Assad loyalists who stood outside the dead President's hospital room to deflect the global media from the assassination and to pull Israel into a war with the Syrian army. The leader of the Western-backed Syrian opposition coalition announced he was resigning.
Moaz al-Khatib didn’t detail what motivated his decision, in a status update made on social media Website Facebook.
But he did say that he now had the ability to “work with freedom that cannot be available within the official institutions.”
The Israeli analyst said that the Israeli army is on heightened alert in the North and the US is moving a battle carrier group off the Syrian coast. That the US would not tolerate any further action by Iran inside Syria and has warned Iranians to leave the country.
"Assad had complete and total support from both Iran and Russia. They backed Assad in his bloody campaign which resulted in the loss of over 70,000 Syrian civilians. No one helped those Syrians except for one country - Israel. They have taken in dozens of wounded Syrians across the border who are now being cared for in Israeli hospitals."
"We can expect to see a photo of a dead Assad within 48 hours. There are many phone cameras in the pockets of those guarding his body. One of those photos would be worth almost a million dollars to the one getting that photo out to the Western media."
Reports from Syria suggest a "big fuss has developed around the hospital and that all roads leading to the hospital were blocked by the Syrian army", who have surrounded the hospital with a "large force".
"Syrian television broadcasts were discontinued. Syria apparently inhibits the official report on the assassination until it became clear whether the president would live or die."
French weekly, Le Point, reported that the news was denied by the Free Syrian Army. Russian news channel, RT, reported that they had heard from a member of the Syrian government that the report was untrue. Confusion remains. One blog commentator suggested the news may be like Cold War reports about deaths of Russian officials - the news takes days to finally come out.
Western journalists are still trying to confirm the news, amidst suggestions that the Syrian opposition are spreading rumours and minimal information available from Damascus.