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U.S. Says Assad Losing Control, UN Urges Strong Action

A combo photo shows General Assef Shawkat (left) and Defense Minister General Daoud Rajha (center), who were killed in the attack. Interior Minister Ibrahim al-Shaar (right) was reportedly seriously injured.
A combo photo shows General Assef Shawkat (left) and Defense Minister General Daoud Rajha (center), who were killed in the attack. Interior Minister Ibrahim al-Shaar (right) was reportedly seriously injured.
By RFE/RL
The White House says the bomb attack which killed at least three top members of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime shows Assad is "losing control."
 
Defense Minister Daoud Rajha, Deputy Defense Minister Assef Shawkat -- Assad's brother-in-law -- and General Hassan Turkmani, head of the regime's crisis team, died in the July 18 blast, according to state-run media.
 
Interior Minister Ibrahim al-Shaar was reported seriously injured.
 
In a statement, the White House also called on the international community to unite around a plan to transition Assad from power. 
 
UN chief Ban Ki-moon said he "strongly condemns" the attack. Ban and Kofi Annan, the UN-Arab League envoy, called on the UN Security Council to take strong action on Syria ahead of a July 19 vote on a Western-backed resolution calling for harsh sanctions.
 
The vote, initially planned for July 18, was postponed for one day because of the bombing. 
 
Ban said there was an "extreme urgency" for action to make government and opposition forces halt the violence. Annan said the council must take "decisive" action on the conflict.
 
Russia and China are expected to veto the resolution.  
 
U.S.-Russia Phone Call

The White House also said that U.S. President Barack Obama had called Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the situation.
 
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on July 18, however, reiterated Russia's opposition to the UN resolution, saying international sanctions would amount to “outright support of a revolutionary movement.”
 
In Damascus, security forces loyal to Assad flooded the streets after the attack, and snipers took up positions on rooftops.
 
However, spontaneous public celebrations broke out following reports on Syrian TV of the bomb attack, in spite of days of fierce fighting around the capital. 
 
The rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) claimed responsibility for the blast, but so did an Islamist rebel group named Liwa Al-Islam, or “The Brigade of Islam."
 
Syria's rebel commander, Riad al-Asaad, said from Turkey that his forces had planted the bomb inside the meeting room. 

Radwan Ziadeh, the foreign relations officer of the opposition Syrian National Council, told Reuters from Washington the attack marks the beginning of the end for Assad's regime.

"This will be tipping point. Because the Assad regime will know that he is, he will be fighting till the end," Ziadieh said. 
 
On July 18 the United States also imposed sanctions on an additional 29 Syrian officials and six Syrian companies, expanding its growing blacklist.
 
Based on reporting by AP, AFP, dpa, and Reuters
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Comments
     
by: Eugenio from: Vienna
July 19, 2012 06:31
NATO is doing a great job promoting global terrorism. Now they are openly and shamelessly supporting suicide bombings in Syria - and at the same time NATO friendly "peaceful activists" are exploding buses with Israeli tourists in Burgas (Bulgaria)! And yet, the NATO criminals and their "peaceful unarmed" terrorist friends will not achieve anything in Syria: Bashar will continue being the country's President for many years to come.
In Response

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
July 19, 2012 12:48
Konstantin, you're making me sound like Jack. I rarely say "peaceful activists" - that's more of a Jack thing, although he also adds Wahhabi. But generally I do agree with what you wrote, although of course it has been widely reported that the Bulgaria explosion was a Mossad false flag operation.
In Response

by: Jost from: New York
July 19, 2012 19:20
I totally agree, Assad will not go away, mainly also because no-one wants him to, except the Saudi sponsored thugs. It will run itself until a politics and regime change in Saudi Arabia. The western world does not want him to go away, nor does Israel, he has been the most reliable enemy, no-body knows what the Muslim Brotherhood will do. Especially not with the chemical weapons piles. For the West, he is the lesser evil, the West is just saving face amidst the war in public, of which the brutality the detached west can no longer understand. Deep down the West will ensure Assad will stay in power. Russia and China doing the Wests dirty work, having their own interest in the game.

by: rick
July 19, 2012 13:50
Maybe I wrong
but i don't listen about any US explicit condemnation of Syria suicide attacks

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