Syria's defence minister killed: State TV

Several other participants attending a high-level meeting in central Damascus were wounded in the blast.


Afp July 18, 2012

BEIRUT: Syria's defence minister General Daoud Rajha was killed on Wednesday in a suicide bombing targeting the National Security headquarters in central Damascus, state television reported.

Security officials told AFP that several other participants attending a high-level meeting were wounded in the blast and taken to alShami hospital in the capital for treatment.

The officials said Interior Minister Mohammed alShaar was among the wounded.

The morning attack targeted the regime's most senior security chiefs, state television said, adding that some of the meeting's participants were "badly wounded."

The bombing came in the high security Rawda district in the heart of the capital as battles between regime forces and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) raged in Damascus for the fourth consecutive day.

Rajha, a Christian, was defence minister, deputy army chief and deputy head of the Council of Ministers. President Bashar alAssad is overall commander of the military.

The National Security branch, a linchpin of Syria's security apparatus, is headed by General Hisham Ikhtiyar. There was no immediate news of Ikhtiyar's fate after the bombing.

Born in 1941, Ikhtiyar is a key figure in the regime's repression of the 16-month revolt.

In mid-May this year, a reported attempt was made to poison Rajha, Ikhtiyar and other key regime figures. A delivery boy was said to have added mercury to their food during a meal before fleeing.

COMMENTS (5)

j. von hettlingen | 10 years ago | Reply

The operation - Damascus Volcano - is a final battle for the capital. It is a zero-sum game, with a winner-take-all outcome. Kofi Annan's plan is dead. Both camps will fight to the bitter end. The rebel Free Syrian Army seems to benefit from the expertise of Assad's defected forces and make significant progress lately. The question is no longer "if" Assad will be ousted, but "when". Indeed more surprises may be expected in the coming days.

Truth | 10 years ago | Reply

@ Nikolas

Did you mean to say Rebels = Al Qaeda since US is fighting Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and fighting with Al Qaida in Syria is quiet interesting. Al Qaeda or Syrian Rebels are all pentagon's baby.

And I hope Obama wake up now and stop killing more innocent people like they already killed millions of muslim around the world in last 2 decades.

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