2012 Bombing of Syrian National Security Bureau May Have Been an Inside Job

(Wall Street Journal) Sam Dagher - The July 18, 2012, bombing of Syria's National Security Bureau, in which Assef Shawkat, the deputy defense minister and President Assad's brother-in-law, and three other senior officials were killed, now appears to have been an inside job. New revelations point to a split between the Assad family on one side, and officials seeking negotiations with opposition groups on the other. Several people with knowledge of the matter said Shawkat, who had previously headed Military Intelligence and commanded a loyal group of officers, posed a threat to Assad's rule. Two months before the bombing, there was an unsuccessful plot to poison Shawkat. The attack opened the door for Iran and Hizbullah to play a greater role in defending the regime. Within weeks, foreign Shiite militiamen flocked to Syria, helping push the death toll from less than 20,000 at the time to more than 190,000 as of August 2014.

2014-12-22 00:00:00

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