Syria state television reports Syria’s defense chief is dead, as is the Intelligence Chief, according to the Guardian. They reportedly died in a suicide blast in a government building in the Syrian capital of Damascus.
Defence Minister Dawoud Rajha, 65, is the most senior government official to be killed in the escalating civil war. According to the Globe and Mail, there are also reports that President Assad’s brother-in-law and senior defense official, Assef Shawkat, was also killed in the Damascus bombing.
The blast struck during a Cabinet meeting. Others injuries have been reported.
Clashes between the opposition and the government have been occurring in Damascus for the last four days. Activists claim more than 17,000 have died since the beginning of the uprising last year.
The United Nations Security Council will discuss the situation later today. With Russia opposing a peacekeeping mission, new measures are unlikely.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012