Syria confirms assassination of military officer

Syria's government is confirming the assassination last week of a senior military officer believed to have been a close aide to President Bashar Assad. The confirmation by presidential adviser Buthaina Shaaban is the first official comment by Syria on the assassination of Brig. Gen. Mohammed Suleiman. The killing was widely reported in Arab media this week. Syria restricts its media and rarely comments on security matters. Shaaban told reporters Wednesday that investigations were under way but did not elaborate. Arab media and a Syrian opposition Web site said on Monday that Suleiman was killed by a sniper on a yacht at a beach resort in the northern port city of Tartous Friday night.