Free Syrian Army fighters carry a civilian away from the line-of-fire after he was shot twice, in his stomach and back, by a Syrian army sniper while walking near the frontline in the Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria (Photo: AP)
In an indication of political polarisation in Syria, a Syrian government minister has disowned his son – who was recently reported killed in the ongoing violence – for joining the rebel Free Syrian Army.
"The nation's wellbeing comes before all other considerations and sentiments," official Syrian news agency SANA quoted Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mohamed Torky El-Sayed as saying about his decision to renounce his son, Bassem.
El-Sayed went on to say that his son's decision to join the FSA "deserves nothing but resentment and anger."
The minister's relationship with Bassem ended over one year ago, when the latter adopted a position "opposed to the Syrian national interest," asserted El-Sayed, who said that he tried several times to deter his son from joining the armed insurgency against the ruling Assad regime.
A number of websites associated with the Syrian opposition have reported Bassem's death in a recent battle in the city of Aleppo.