Google+

Brother-in-law of Syrian President killed in bomb blast as rebels close in on Assad regime

Syria’s Defence Minister Daoud Rajiha was also killed in what is considered to be the harshest blow to the Syrian regime since the uprising began

The brother-in-law of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been has been killed in a bomb blast in Damascus, the country’s state television confirmed today.

General Assef Shawkat – who was married to Assad’s elder sister, Bushra – was the deputy defence minister and among the most feared figures in Assad’s inner circle.

Syria’s Defence Minister Daoud Rajiha, the most senior Christian government official in Syria, was also killed in the attack, and interior minister Mohammed Shaar seriously injured.

The attack, considered the harshest blow to the Syrian regime since the uprising began, took place at the headquarters of Syria’s National Security Bureau during a meeting of Cabinet ministers and senior security officials.

Riad al-Asaad, Syria’s rebel commander, confirmed that his forces carried out the attack but denied it was a suicide bombing, as was initially reported.

Speaking from his headquarters in Turkey, Riad al-Asaad said that rebel forces planted a bomb inside the room where senior government officials were meeting.

He added that all those who carried out the operation are safe, and claimed the attack marked “the beginning of the end of the regime”.

The attack comes after four straight days of fighting in Damascus, as rebels harden their offensive and try and bring down Assad’s regime by force.

The SANA news agency said government troops were chasing rebels in the Midan neighbourhood, causing “great losses among them”, and the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said army helicopters had attacked the neighbourhoods of Qaboun and Barzeh.

Although the Syrian government has downplayed the rebels’ advance on Damascus, the death of Shawkat and Rajiha, and the recent defection of several high profile officials, will be seen by rebels as signs of a weakening resistance.

Although it is unclear who was behind today’s attack, the high-level assassinations could signal a turning point in the 16-month conflict as the violence becomes increasingly chaotic.

Rebel fighters are launching increasingly deadly attacks on regime targets, and several massive suicide attacks this year suggest al Qaida or other extremists are joining the fray.

Shortly after today’s bombing, the Syrian army released a statement saying its forces will continue to fight the rebels.

“Whoever thinks that by targeting the country’s leaders they will be able to twist Syria’s arm is disillusioned because Syria’s people, army and leadership are now more determined than ever to fight terrorism … and cleanse the nation from the armed gangs.”

Shawkat and Rajiha’s deaths come as UN chiefs try to persuade China and Russia to agree to tougher measures on Syria ahead of a Security Council vote to impose sanctions, expected to take place in New York later today.

UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon met Chinese leader Hu Jintao in Beijing.

In the aftermath of today’s bombing, however, Sergey Lavrov, the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, accused the West of inciting the Syrian opposition.

Lavrov was quoted by the RIA Novosti news agency as saying “instead of calming the opposition down, some of our partners are inciting it to go on.”

Western nations want a new resolution threatening measures short of the use of force.

The Western-backed draft resolution to be discussed gives the Syrian government 10 days to withdraw heavy weapons from cities and return troops to barracks, otherwise a further resolution on sanctions will be submitted to the Security Council.

Source:  www.independent.co.uk

Entertainment

Top Ten DVD List for January 17, 2017

    This Week’s DVD Releases by Kam Williams Top Ten DVD List for January 17, 2017                       Ali [Commemorative Edition] https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01MQEU1P1/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 Long Way North https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01M1YT5Y7/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 Train to Busan https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01MS5PJH5/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 Ouija: Origin of … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Concerned Father Creates Children’s Book Series To Help Make Learning About Valuable Black History Information Fun Again

  Concerned Father Creates Children's Book Series To Help Make Learning About Valuable Black History Information Fun Again   Orlando, FL (January 16, 2017) – EOTO Books & Publishing announced today the immediate release of “The Christopher OluFela Series of Books for Kids” written by father and creative children’s picture book author Lee Chavous. The books take a unique approach to inform young readers of a rich African American … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder

  History Being Sold to the Highest Bidder by Amy Lignor   For the longest time, scientists and archaeologists have been confused and bemused by various discoveries they’ve unearthed that offer little or no explanation as to the who, what, and why of the people who created these things or left them behind. Even now, in 2017, there are discoveries being studied; stories that were once legends now have actual bits of proof being found that … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Groundswell for Chazelle!

  Damien Chazelle The “La La Land” Interview with Kam Williams Groundswell for Chazelle! Damien Chazelle wrote and directed the Academy Award-winning Whiplash which landed five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Chazelle. The movie won a trio of Oscars in the Film Editing, Sound Mixing and Supporting Actor (J.K. Simmons) categories. In 2013, his short film of the same name won the Short Film … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Come See Tidewater Boats at Miami’s Favorite Boat Show

  Come See Tidewater Boats at Miami’s Favorite Boat Show By Craig Lamb Water and boats go together, but you don’t always find both at a boat show. You can now find those and more at the 2017 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show. This year’s event, conveniently scheduled during President’s Day weekend, is Feb. 16-20. The show has a new home at the Miami Marine Stadium Park & Basin on Biscayne Bay. The location on … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

What is in the Water in New England?

  What is in the Water in New England? by Amy Lignor   “There won’t be much left in our season.”   “Doesn’t feel good.”   The above are quotes made by the top echelon – the robotic twins, if you will, of the NFL –  after their win. Yes…I said, win. For the sixth straight season the New England Patriots have won their divisional match-up and are headed on to play the AFC Championship Game in their own hometown – on … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Spotlight on Africa

  Spotlight on Africa by Amy Lignor   As the year winds down and comes to a close, it is Africa that is receiving some headlines that call for many changes and improvements to be made in the coming years. It was Ambassador Amina Mohamed (Nairobi, Kenya) that spoke recently about the African Union Commission (AUC) and how the group must provide leadership in the coming years. After all, the nation of Africa is, in truth, the cradle … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

The Grandest New Year’s Celebrations Around the World

    The Grandest New Year’s Celebrations Around the World by Amy Lignor   Oh, yes…there are many, many places to travel in order to ring in that New Year in style. Some people have already stated that they see 2017 becoming one of the ‘best of the best’ years the world has ever seen – from technology to business to education to even “going greener” – heck, green has even been chosen as the top color of 2017. But where should you … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

2017 Will Be Green!

    2017 Will Be Green! by Amy Lignor   This statement is not a “hopeful” imagination talking; it is actually quite true. Very recently the Pantone Color Institute declared that green will most definitely be THE color for 2017. This is a company that calls themselves the “global color authority,” and states that everything from high fashion to trends will be on the green path throughout next year. So…when we look at a “green” … [Read More its Good for You...]