Syrian rebels vitalized after assassinations
A daring assassination has shaken the inner circle of family and enforcers that has kept President Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship in power during a 17-month rebellion. U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says Syria, with its escalating violence, is spinning out of control. It was a bomb, planted inside the daily meeting of al-Assad’s security chiefs, which exploded and killed its highest officials. Defense Minister Daoud Rajha and al-Assad’s brother-in-law, Asef Shawkat, feared former head of military intelligence, were killed, along with Hassan Turkmani, a former defense minister. Others were injured, most importantly the head of the dictatorship’s secret police.
A funeral for an opposition activist outside Damascus turned into a celebration when mourners and rebels learned the defense minister was dead. Civil war activist across the country celebrated on Wednesday after terrorist bombed a meeting aimed at a hated elite inside the Syrian regime. The deceased officials, along with everyone in the room, were thinking of a master plan to dispose the Syrian uprising. According to CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer, the explosion on Wednesday was the first time the Syrian regime suffered a truly crushing blow. The National Security Headquarters near Damascus, where the meeting took place, should have been one of the safest buildings in the country.