SYRIA’S deputy defence minister Assef Shawkat and security Chief General Hisham Ikhtiyar have been killed in a bomb attack on a security building in the capital by pro-Western terrorists.
Syrian Defence Minister Dawoud Rajiha was also killed in the bombing at the headquarters of the National Security Bureau on Wednesday.
Cabinet ministers and senior security officials were meeting inside the building at the time of the explosion.
Many others, including Interior Minister Major General Mohammad Ibrahim al-Shaar, were injured in the blast even though he is reported to be in a stable condition now.
Shawkat was President Assad’s brother-in-law.
The bombing targeted the National Security building in the central district of Rawda.
The attack comes a day after two explosions rocked Damascus but left no casualties.
Meanwhile, clashes have been reported between Syrian security forces and armed gangs in the capital over the past few days.
On Tuesday, Syrian government officials rejected claims by some media outlets that armed terrorists had captured parts of the capital.
The latest attack in Damascus was carried out on the same day that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned of the ‘serious situation’ in Syria.
‘I have explained how serious the situation is now and all the leaders in China have also shared my view that this situation is very serious,’ Ban said in a press conference after meetings with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in Beijing yesterday.
‘I sincerely hope that the members of the (UN) Security Council will be able to discuss with a sense of urgency and take collective action with a sense of unity,’ the UN chief stated, referring to a meeting of the UN Security Council scheduled to be held later yesterday.
The 15 members of the Security Council were due to vote on a Western-backed draft resolution that proposes sanctions against Damascus under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which allows for sanctions ranging from economic measures to an arms embargo and the use of military force.
Russia and China have expressed opposition to such a move.
The anti-Syria Western governments have been calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, but Moscow and Beijing remain opposed to the Western drive to oust Assad.
The Syrian president told the German ARD television channel in an interview on July 5th that the United States is ‘part of the conflict’ in the Arab country and that ‘they offer the umbrella and political support to those gangs to . . . destabilise Syria.’