'What Is Clear Is That Damascus Has Joined The Revolt'
From Reuters this morning:
Syria's defense minister and President Bashar al-Assad's brother in-law were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Damascus on Wednesday, in the most serious blow to Assad's high command in a 16-month-old revolt.
It's not clear whether the attack was supposed to get Assad, too. The intelligence chief and interior minister were also wounded. The attack targeted a meeting of ministers and heads of security agencies. An army barracks near the head of state's palace was also targeted and fires there resulted. And fighting also erupted in other neighborhoods, mainly Sunni Muslim districts (Assad and the ruling elite belong to an offshoot sect of Shi'ite Islam).
Rebel fighters have called the intensified guerrilla attacks in recent days, which have targeted shabbiha buses, unmarked intelligence patrols and armored vehicles in the capital, the battle "for the liberation of Damascus" after 16 months of revolt.
But senior opposition figures took a more nuanced view.
"It is going to be difficult to sustain supply lines and the rebels may have to make a tactical withdrawal at one point, like they did in other cities," veteran opposition activist Fawaz Tello said from Istanbul.
"But what is clear is that Damascus has joined the revolt," Tello, a Damascene, told Reuters. "By hitting well known Sunni districts of the city, such as Midan, the regime is exposing the sectarian nature of the crackdown."
Sounds like a goat rodeo. And later today the UN is scheduled to vote on a resolution that tells Assad to stop using heavy weapons in towns and cities or else ... sanctions and stuff. Russia has said it will block the move.