March 25, 2013
SAS News reporter Ahmed Kwider spoke with Omar Abu Laila, the spokesman for the Free Syrian Army’s General Command on the Eastern Front, blames the Syrian regime for the assassination attempt on Col. Riad Asaad’s life as well as an internal security breach for the car bomb’s near success. The head of the Free Syrian Army lost a leg in the explosion.
Q: Do you think the targeting of Colonel Riad Asaad is related to the video in which he praised Jabhat a-Nusra?
A: The main purpose of targeting Colonel Riad Asaad is to get [revenge on] the citizens Deir E-Zor, especially in the rural areas, because the regime was forced to remove its troops from the area seven months ago. They [the regime] also want to frame Jabhat a-Nusra for this assassination days after he showed support for them.
Q: Why did Asaad visit al-Mayadin? Was there coordination between him and the FSA in the area?
A: He was taking a tour of the entire province, especially the eastern rural side of Deir e-Zor. There was no coordination between Colonel Riad Asaad and the Revolutionary Council in the eastern area regarding this tour. We only knew about his visit in the morning, which means there was a security breach. Had we coordinated, none of this would have happened.
Q: What are the initial results of your investigations?
A: The explosive was planted under the Colonel’s seat. It targeted him personally in an attempt to eliminate him. The others with him in the car weren’t seriously injured.