Cord International: Syria still on International Radar
Clashes between the Syrian government and the opposition groups almost hit a breaking point on Wednesday as four of Syria’s top officials were killed in an attack at a top-level meeting in Damascus. Among those killed were the defence minister, interior minister and the defence minister’s deputy, Assef Shawkat, who is President Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law.
An Islamist Syrian rebel group by the name of Liwa al-Islam claimed responsibility for the attack. While there have been reports that it was a suicide bombing, Riad al-Assad, the commander for the rebel forces, denied that it was. A bomb was allegedly placed in the room where the government officials were having the meeting. The bomb was then detonated and killed four officials while injuring many others.
The uprising in Syria has been going on for about 16 months now and is estimated to have more than 17,000 casualties — many of them being civilian. The Arab Spring, a series of protests that absorbed the Middle East demanding the end of oppressive regimes, has been a hot topic in international media.
The main debate, which has been going on since violence broke out, is whether or not there should be foreign intervention. While Russia and China maintain a neutral position on the conflict — though there is evidence that Russia and China support the al-Assad regime — the West have been seeking non-military sanctions, which is linked to the Chapter 7 of the UN Charter. This, however, can eventually lead to the use of force.
Here is a report for the attack from today: