US state department cables released by WikiLeaks trace the panicked response of the authorities. "Syrian security services quickly cordoned and searched the entire beach neighbourhood where the shooting had occurred," the embassy was informed. Syrian-based journalists were instructed not to report the story. It was a sensational event, akin to another mysterious assassination in Damascus earlier that year, when a car bomb killed Imad Mughniyeh, military chief of Hezbollah.
in the capital, the government remained silent, probably, the embassy speculated, because "(1) they may not know who did it; (2) such accusations could impair or end Syria's nascent peace negotiations with Israel; and (3) publicising the event would reveal yet another lapse in Syria's vaunted security apparatus."