Reports from The Daily Star
, News 24
and The Washington Post
indicate that the Syrian crisis is currently undergoing a critical moment. With rebels declaring that their Damascus Volcano operation will "liberate" the capital city they are taking on the regime in its central stronghold. And with the bombing of those three security officials the opposition is proving that the higher-ups in the regime are at least partially vulnerable to their attacks.
Upon speculation of an al-Qaeda role in this bombing attack U.S. intelligence analysts expressed doubt. One official was quoted as stating that the Sunni fundamentalist movement is essentially "disconnected from the rest of the opposition." One of the three officials killed in the bombing attack was General Assef Shawkat (Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law) who has in the past been accused by the U.S. of sending jihadists associated with al-Qaeda into Iraq during the Iraq War to attack U.S. forces.
Also today the U.S. Defence Secretary Leon E. Panetta said that the situation in Syria is "rapidly spinning out of control." President Obama has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that his continued support of Assad's regime would put Russia "on the wrong side of history."
The upcoming vote for the U.N. Security Council will decide upon whether or not the U.N. should impose tough sanctions on the Assad regime. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov vows that Assad will not be pushed out. Russia has remained vehemently opposed to any regime change or transition in Syria imposed from the outside.