18 Jul Syrian bomb kills Assad’s brother-in-law
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law has been killed in Damascus
Scottish news: Syrian bomb kills Assad’s brother-in-law
by Karla Healion
It has been reported that Syria’s Defence Minister, who is also President Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law, has been killed in a suicide bombing.
Reports from local and state media earlier today allege that the blast killed General Dawoud Rajha, President Assad’s brother-in-law, and wounded several government officials.
The bomb exploded in a meeting of top cabinet ministers and senior security figures in the national security building in Damascus. The suicide bomber is thought to have been a bodyguard of one of Assad’s key officials.
This is the fourth day of heavy fighting between the Syrian military and the Free Syrian Army in the Syria’s capital.
For the last three days, fighting in Damascus has escalated to mark the worst in the capital since problems in Syria began almost a year and a half ago.
More than 50 army officers, including two colonels, have been killed in the city since the start of the week, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Last week the Syrian army are said to have killed as many as 220 people in the Sunni village of Tremseh in the Hama region, including anti-government activists.
For the violence to move from outer provinces into the capital, where the government has been the dominant force, marks an ascension in the will and intent of the anti-government rebels and the Free Syrian Army.
The Free Syrian Army is calling this move the “Damascus volcano and Syrian earthquake” operation. Colonel Qassem Saadeddine, spokesperson for the anti-government militant organisation, has said that “there is no going back. The Damascus battle has priority for us”.
Meanwhile, on the diplomatic side of the conflict, the UN Security Council is due to vote today on a Western-backed resolution of Syrian sanctions to put pressure on Assad, even though Russia has said it will not back such a motion.
After a meeting with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin this week, United Nations envoy Kofi Annan said “we will continue discussions and hopefully find a language that will pull everybody together for us to move forward on this critical issue”.
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