Mohammed Nasif Kheirbek

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Mohammed Nasif Kheirbek
محمد ناصيف خيربك
Deputy Vice-President for Security Affairs
In office
President Bashar al-Assad
Prime Minister Riyad Farid Hijab
Wael Nader al-Halqi
Deputy Director of the General Security Directorate
In office
Succeeded by Hassan Khallouf
Personal details
Born (1937-04-10)April 10, 1937
Hama, Syria
Died June 28, 2015(2015-06-28) (aged 78)
Damascus, Syria
Nationality Syrian
Political party Ba'ath Party
Religion Alawite
Military service
Allegiance  Syria
Service/branch Syrian Arab Army
Years of service 1957-1999
Rank Syria-Feriq.jpg Lieutenant General
Unit Infantry
Military Intelligence

Mohammed Nasif Kheirbek (Arabic: محمد ناصيف خيربك‎‎) known as Mohammed Nasif or Abu Wael,[1] (10 April 1937 - 28 June 2015) was the deputy vice-president for security affairs in Syria.[2] He was a close adviser of Syrian President Bashar Assad and is Syria's point-man for its relationship with Iran and Lebanon's Shia militias.[3] He is one of a number of officials sanctioned by the European Union for the use of violence against protesters participating in the Syrian civil war.[2]


Mohammed Nasif Kheirbek was born 10 April 1937 in Homs and is a member of the Alawi Kalabiya tribe, to which Bashar Assad belongs.[4] The Kheirbek and Assad family are also connected by marriage. A relative is married to one of Rifaat Assad's daughters. Mohammed was the head of the powerful Kheirbek clan who are represented throughout the Ba'ath Party and the security apparatuses.


Kheirbek was a very close adviser to the late Syrian President Hafez al-Assad. He was the military attache in East Germany between 1971 and 1975. In the 1990s he was a central figure in relations with Iran and Lebanese Shiite militias.[5][6] In 1999, he was appointed as the deputy director of the General Security Directorate and then in 2005 became the deputy vice-president for security affairs. Two years later, the US froze his assets for contributing to the government of Syria's problematic behaviour, which included support of international terrorism, the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, and the undermining of efforts in Iraq.[4] He was also reported in 2007 to be in charge of Syria's Lebanon portfolio.[7]

Syrian civil war[edit]

In May 2011, Kheirbek was sanctioned by the European Union for the use of violence against protesters participating in the Syrian civil war.[2] The following month, he reportedly traveled to Iran to meet General Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Qods Force, a division of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which conducts special operations outside Iran. They reportedly discussed creating a supply route that would allow Iran to transfer military equipment directly to Syria by way of a new military compound at Latakia airport.[4]

Personal Life[edit]

Kheirbek got married at an old age and got an only son called Wael.[1]


  1. ^ a b زياد حيدر. "زياد حيدر: رحيل رجل أمن سورية الأكبر محمد ناصيف "أبو وائل" :: عربي ودولي - جريدة السفير". جريدة السفير. 
  2. ^ a b c "Joint Proposal for a COUNCIL REGULATION concerning restrictive measures in view of the situation in Syria and repealing Regulation (EU) No 442/2011". EuroLex. 52011PC0887. 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Black, Ian (28 April 2011). "Six Syrians who helped Bashar al-Assad keep iron grip after father's death". Guardian. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c "Bashar al-Assad's inner circle". BBC News. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 19 August 2012. 
  5. ^ MEIB (July 2000). "Syria's Intelligence Services: A Primer". Middle East Intelligence Bulletin. 2 (6). Retrieved 8 June 2011. 
  6. ^ Bar, Shmuel (2006). "Bashar's Syria: The Regime and its Strategic Worldview" (PDF). Comparative Strategy. 25: 425. doi:10.1080/01495930601105412. Retrieved 15 May 2011. 
  7. ^ Feltman, Jeffrey (23 April 2007). "The Seduction Of The Widow Hariri: Hopes For Premiership Dashed By Family, Saudi Arabia". US Embassy Cables (Lebanon). Retrieved 19 August 2012.