London: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have reportedly captured the brother of the head of al Qaeda.
Mohamed al-Zawahiri is said to have been seized in Deraa in the south-west where he was meeting opposition activists.
According to the Independent, rebel fighters insisted al-Zawahiri, the brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri, was engaged on a humanitarian mission and had not been involved in violent acts.
They also claimed that he had, in fact, proposed a local truce to enable aid to get through, the paper said.
However the Syrian regime is likely to try to capitalise Zawahiri’s presence in the country, if indeed they have him under arrest, as proof of their repeated charge that the revolution has been taken over by “terrorists,” it added.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, who took over as al Qaeda leader following the killing of Osama bin Laden, has declared that it is the duty of Muslims to take part in a jihad against the “pernicious, cancerous regime” of Assad.
He has also warned the opposition against depending on the West for help.