A bomb ripped through a high-level security meeting Wednesday in Damascus, killing three top regime officials — including President Bashar Assad’s brother-in-law — in the harshest blow to Syria’s ruling family dynasty and the rebels’ boldest attack in the country’s civil war.
Syrian state-run TV said the blast came during a meeting of Cabinet ministers and senior security officials in Damascus, which has seen four straight days of clashes between rebels and government troops.
The high-level assassinations could signal a turning point in the civil war as the violence becomes increasingly chaotic.
U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said the bombing showed that the bloodshed in Syria was “rapidly spinning out of control,” and it was time for the international community to bring “maximum pressure” on Assad to step down and permit a stable transfer of power. The Obama administration also slapped new financial sanctions on Assad’s government.
It was not immediately clear where Assad was. He gave no immediate statements on the attacks.
The Assad family has ruled Syria for four decades, creating an ironclad and impenetrable regime. Wednesday’s attack was an unheard-of strike on the inner circle.
Syria’s rebel commander, Riad al-Asaad, claimed responsibility, saying his rebel forces planted a bomb in the room and detonated it. All those involved in carrying out the attack are safe, he said.
State-run TV initially said it was a suicide blast but later referred to the attack as a bomb.
“God willing, this is the beginning of the end of the regime,” al-Asaad told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from his base in neighbouring Turkey.
“Hopefully Bashar will be next,” he added.
Syrian TV confirmed the deaths of Defence Minister Dawoud Rajha, 65, a former army general and the most senior government official to be killed in the rebels’ battle to oust Assad; Gen. Assef Shawkat, the deputy defence minister who is married to Assad’s elder sister, Bushra, and is one of the most feared figures in the inner circle; and Hassan Turkmani, a former defence minister who died of wounds suffered in the attack.
Also wounded were Interior Minister Mohammed Shaar and Maj. Gen. Hisham Ikhtiar, who heads the National Security Department. State TV said both were in stable condition.
ISIS offered to swap Foley for ’Lady Al Qaeda’ - neuroscientist MIT-graduate 2014 08 21 An MIT-educated neuroscientist terrorist known as ’Lady al Qaeda’ was named on a ’laundry list’ of demands from ISIS captors holding James Foley named, it was revealed today.
Petite mother-of-three Aafia Siddiqui is currently serving 86 years in a Texas jail after being arrested with plans for a ’mass casualty attack’ in the US, including infecting people with Ebola and a ...
James Foley beheaded - Financed by USA 2014 08 21
John McCain is a traitorous piece of garbage.
Last year McCain worked with the "Syrian Emergency Task Force" to help overthrow the Syrian government. Investigative work (see the detailed article below) revealed that this task force was just a front organization for AIPAC.
McCain met with known terrorists, including the infamous al-Qaeda. Yeah, the terrorist organization that was behind 9/11 received aid ...
Mass Produced Security Robots Introduced in U.S. 2014 08 20
While debate continues to rage about the threat of autonomous "killer robots," the mechanized replacement of humans continues across the workforce. In fact, the robotics industry notched record sales in the first half of 2014 in North America, and there appears to be no indications of a slowdown.
Security robots have become a special area of interest for developers. Britain ...
Is Michael Brown A National Hero? 2014 08 19
From: Brother Nathanael:
I don’t know about you but I revolt against crowning Michael Brown a “national hero.”
Better the crown go to Darren Wilson who according to the Ferguson Police Report shot Brown in self-defense.
Yet there’s already a bounty on his head.
And the media eats it up.
For whether it’s NBC; CNN …or the New York Times; the spin is that ...