Washington, July 19 (): The Syrian crisis is appearing to have reached a decisive stage, after a deadly blast in Damascus killed three key Syrian officials. The killing shows President Bashar al-Assad is “rapidly spinning out of control,” the White House says.
Defense Minister Dawoud Rajha, Gen. Assef Shawkat, the deputy defense minister and president Assad’s brother-in-law and Hassan Turkmani, a former defense minister were killed in the bomb attack in a meeting at the national security headquarters, Damascus.
Rebel groups told the explosive had been fixed the day before and expected the government’s imminent fall. The attack was the conclusion of days of clashes between the armed forces and rebel fighters in a number of areas of Damascus.
On Wednesday, Leon Panetta, Defense Secretary said U.S. officials were uncertain whether the attack was an insider attack, but they proposed it could mark a turning point in the 16-month conflict.
British Defense Minister Philip Hammond, who appeared with Panetta at the Pentagon news conference said the mounting violence shows that the rebels feel encouraged and that government of Assad is suffering “possibly some fragmentation around the edges” as it is struggling to keep grip on its power.
Abdullah Jordan’s King said the blast was a “tremendous blow” for President Assad. One of the worst situations was that Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile could fall into “unfriendly hands”, such as al-Qaeda.
Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary General said the Security Council must “shoulder its responsibility and take effective and collective action.”
The UN Security Council has postponed a vote on a new Syria resolution until Thursday, in an attempt to get key Western nations and Russia to agree on measures to end the violence, reports say.
The agency report says that Kofi Annan, international envoy urged the council in New York to delay Wednesday’s scheduled vote after the bombing in Damascus killed three members of the Assad regime.