Terrorist attack against the headquarters of National Security in Damascus kills Defence Minister
Syrian Defense Minister, General Daoud Rajha, and Deputy Defense Minister and brother of President Bashar al-Assad, Assef Shawkat, were killed on Wednesday (18th) in a suicide attack against the National Security building in Damascus, according to Syrian state television. At the time of the attack, a meeting of ministers and senior officials of the government was taking place on the issue of security in the country, where the conflict has intensified this past week with attacks on the streets of the Syrian capital.
The attack is thought to have been committed by a man who acted as bodyguard to officials close to President Bashar al-Assad, reports Reuters. There is still no precise information on the number of dead and wounded.
"General Daoud Rajha fell as a martyr in the terrorist attack against the national security building," said the government channel. "The suicide attack left casualties among the participants of the meeting, some of them in serious condition," the television channel reported shortly after the attack.
The bombing also seriously injured the Interior Minister, Mohammed Ibrahim al-Shaar, and the head of the office of National Security, Bekhtyar Hisham, al-Jazeera reported. Reports indicate that the "strong explosion" was caused by a car bomb, said the Centre for 'Human Rights' in Syria, the center of terrorist opposition based in London. The attack is part of an intense offensive by rebels in the Syrian capital.
The "Free Syrian Army" and the terrorist group Liwa al-Islam took responsibility for the attack. They "had targeted the committee appointed to manage the crisis in the Syrian capital, Damascus," wrote someone from the terrorist group on their Facebook page.
The Defense Minister Rajiha was the principal member of the Assad government killed since the conflict began 16 months ago. A presidential decree issued today appoints Commander-General Jassem Al-Fahed Frej as the new Defense Minister and Deputy Commander of the Army and the Armed Forces of Syria, replacing Rajiha.
Born in 1947, Rajha was also vice president of the General Command of the Army and of the Council of Ministers. With a long career in the military, which was battalion and brigade commander, he served as chief of staff until he was appointed Defense Minister in August 2011.
Shawkat was married to Bushra al-Assad, the Syrian president's sister. He held the post of Deputy Defense Minister since September 2011 and was once head of military intelligence. He was considered a major contributor to the security of the country and part of the president's inner circle.
Officials of the security services told AFP that many other participants in the high-level meeting were injured in the explosion and were taken to the Al-Shami hospital, in the capital.
In a statement read on state television, the army of Syria undertook to pursue the perpetrators. "The Armed Forces are determined to end the murderous and criminal gangs and pursue them wherever they are," said a statement. "Whoever thinks that by attacking commanders can they can affect the army of Syria, they are deluded."
The attack comes as the UN Security Council prepares to debate and vote on resolutions on the situation in Syria. One, advocated by the British, Americans and French, calls for the application of pressure against the government, including threats of applying Chapter VII of the UN charter, which Russia and China oppose.
Ed. Predictably, instead of condemning the assassinations and terrorist attack on Syria, the media and officials in the west have spoken of the incident as a "sign of change." More like wishful thinking.
These countries of the FUKUS axis and Israel are the ones planning these attacks behind the scenes. They are desperate to achieve their aims of regime change in order to place a puppet in charge who will do their bidding, allowing total chaos and violence, breaking up of the country, while handing over the sovereignty of the country to their masters.
A wave of attacks and false reports, particulary about the movement of chemical weapons, have preceded today's UN vote. This has become totally predictable, always happening whenever an action is about to take place at the UN.
Vermelho with the agencies
Translated from the Portguese version and appended by:
A drone video shows a Russian flag flying over the outermost house in the west of the city.