Wafiq Nasser – Pro Justice

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Pro Justice - Wafiq Nasser

Wafiq Nasser

General information
Place of birth: Jableh, Lattakia countryside
Specialization: Military Intelligence Directorate

Current service position
Head of Branch 219, Military Intelligence Directorate

Previous positions of service
1- Head of Branch 219, Military Intelligence Directorate, Hama / 2018
2- Head of Branch 217, Military Intelligence Directorate, Suweida / 2016
3- Officer at the Republican Guards / 2014





Born into an Alawite family, Wafiq Nasser hails from the countryside of Jableh in the coastal province of Lattakia. In October 2011, Nasser gained notoriety after he took over the Military Intelligence Directorate branch in Suweida, where he became known as the “Suweida Governor.” During this time, he was associated with numerous kidnappings, intimidations, murders, and assassinations

In the early months of the revolution, Nasser served as a colonel in the Republican Guard forces where he participated in the first raids on Daraa, committing widespread abuses against the people of the province.

A 2011 Human Rights Watch (HRW) investigation[1] accused Colonel Nasser of arresting and torturing dissident officers of the Republican Guard, Including an officer named “Afif,” who confirmed that Nasser played a prominent role in his arrest and torture in Daraa. Another earlier HRW report[2] also documented violations carried out by Republican Guard forces in Daraa where Nasser was an officer .

On 23 August 2011, Brigadier-General Nasser was placed on European Union sanctions for his direct involvement in the repression and violence directed against demonstrators in Daraa.

In the same year, Nasser was appointed head of the Military Intelligence branch in Suweida, replacing General Suhail Ramadan, to begin a new phase in in his criminal record while overseeing a large number of violations carried out within the branch. Nasser also approved the release of convicted criminals in order to form private militias allied to him, coopting these gangs to carry out acts of oppression on the people of Suweida and the surrounding areas. In 2012, Nasser was appointed to replace Major-General Zuhair Hamad as head the Military and Security Committee in the Southern Region, a position he occupied until 2017.

Brigadier-General Nasser has managed to build a number of close relationships with important figures within the military and civil service, as well as some Druze dignitaries, with whom he worked to fuel sectarian strife between the Druze and Bedouin communities, as well as the residents of Suweida and Daraa provinces.

Nasser is also known to have established smuggling networks for drugs, foodstuffs and human organs, while also playing a prominent role in trade deals with the Islamic State group (ISIS), which at the time controlled the Badia region near Suweida.

The province of Suweida has witnessed hundreds of cases involving kidnapping and extortion, most notably the kidnapping of a young woman, Catherine Mezher, who was abducted by militants linked to Al-Bustan Association militias, established by businessman Rami Makhlouf and supervised by Nasser. Naseer also established the all-female “Lionesses” militias which operates in the southern province of Suweida.

Nasser is widely known to be behind numerous assassination operations and bombings designed to terrorize the people of Suweida. The most prominent of which was the assassination of Druze Sheikh Wahid al-Balouz, leader of the Rijal al-Karama movement, who was targetd by car bomb in 2015. Eight other people were killed and 20 more were injured in the blast. He has also been accused to orchestrating the assassination of Shibli Janoud, secretary of the Suweida Baath Party branch.

In early 2018, when Nasser was transferred to head the Military Security Branch in Hama, the criminal networks he established in Suweida began to disintegrate. A large number of civilian contractors with the local Military Security branch and a number of Military Security recruits who formed the nucleus of these networks have since been arrested. Among these were:

  • Imran and Rashad Shalghin: From the village of Majadil in western Suweida, the two men were arrested by Lebanese security forces in 2018 after illegally entering Lebanon. Investigations revealed their role in blockading the road into Suweida in 2017, and the kidnapping of dozens of citizens of Daraa who resided in Suweida. They were also charged with the killing of a Suweida elder, Anad al-Misbah.
  • Warrant Officer Maher Haidar: A member of the military intelligence branch in Suweida. He oversaw the kidnappings planned by Imran and Rashad Shalghin, as well as the kidnappings carried out by paramilitaries in the cities of Suweida and Shahba, and the village of Majdal.
  • William al-Khatib and associates: Contractors with the Military Intelligence branch in Suweida, where they committed several murders since 2015, including an attack on the government compound in the city of Shahba, Suweida province, which resulted in the death of one woman. The Al-Khatib group was also involved in the killing of three civilians, including a child, in Shahba where they carried out a large number of armed robberies and kidnappings while serving Brigadier-General Nasser.
  • Assem Abu Zaki: Contractor with the Military Security branch in Suweida and a member of the William al-Khatib group.
  • Warrant Officer Imad Ismail: Member of the Military Intelligence branch in Suweida. He was arrested for questioning on charges of kidnapping, armed robbery and drug trafficking.
  • Zaher Jaafar: Member of a paramilitary group under the command of Brigadier-General Nasser. Accused of taking part in drug trafficking operations. Smuggled into Jordan through Lebanon under the supervision of assistant Imad Ismail.
  • Warrant Officer Shadi Suleiman: Member of the Military Intelligence branch in Suweida. Was arrested for questioning on charges of abduction, armed robbery and drug trafficking.
  • Warrant Officer Ahmad Mualla: Member of the Military Intelligence branch in Suweida. Was arrested for questioning on charges of abduction, armed robbery and drug trafficking.
  • Warrant Officer Maher Khaddam: Member of the military intelligence branch in Suweida. Was arrested for questioning on charges of abduction, armed robbery and drug trafficking.
  • Siraj Gharz al-Din. Contractor for the Military Security branch in Suweida. Founded a group to carry out robberies and kidnappings for Brigadier-General Nasser.

After being transferred to head the Military Security branch in Hama in early 2018, and despite his reputation for abuses and deep criminal ties, Brigadier-General Nasser has continued to carry out violations against civilians. Meanwhile, in Hama, Nasser has established new kidnapping networks which operate unchecked by the Assad regime.


Photo: Brigadier-General Wafik Nasser accompanied by the godfather of reconciliations Omar Rahmoun


[1] Neistat, A., & Solvang, O. (2011). ” By All Means Necessary”: Individual and Command Responsibility for Crimes Against Humanity in Syria. Human Rights Watch.

[2] Report, Human Rights Watch. (2011). “We’ve Never Seen Such Horror”: Crimes against Humanity by Syrian Security Forces.