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Report: Assad’s Son-in-Law Wounded

November 30, 1999

PARIS (AP) _ A likely power struggle among Hafez Assad’s family led to the shooting of the Syrian leader’s son-in-law by his son, the French daily Liberation has reported.

Assef Chawkat was flown to France in early November for treatment of the wound inflicted by Assad’s son Maher, Liberation reported.

The newspaper, quoting unidentified sources, said the reasons for the shooting were not clear but appeared to be part of a power struggle within the ailing Syrian leader’s family.

Assef Chawkat, head of military intelligence in the army and husband of Assad’s only daughter, was hospitalized in the Val-de-Grace military hospital in Paris after the shooting, Liberation reported Monday. According to Liberation, Chawkat has since returned home.

The French Defense Ministry said Tuesday that it could not confirm the report.

Chawkat was shot in the belly by Maher Assad in the presidential palace in Damascus, Liberation said.

According to Liberation, Chawkat is a close adviser to Assad’s eldest surviving son, Bashar, who reportedly is being groomed to be the president’s successor.

Maher Assad has not been punished for the shooting, the French newspaper said.

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