Demonstrators took to the streets in the capital on Wednesday, a few hours after a bomb attack on the headquarters of the National Security Bureau killed Defense Minister Dawoud Rajiha, Deputy Defense Minister Assef Shawkat, and Assistant Vice President Hassan Turkmani.
Interior Minister Mohammad Ibrahim al-Sha’ar and National Security Bureau chief Hisham Bikhtiyar were also wounded in the attack.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appointed General Fahd al-Jassem al-Freij as the new defense minister immediately after the incident.
U.S, Israel and their regional allies backed, armed and financed terrorist Free Syrian Army (FSA) claimed responsibility for the Wednesday bombing and said the attack was the “first in a series.”
The deadly attack in Damascus was carried out on the same day when the UN Security Council was scheduled to meet and vote on a Western-backed draft resolution that proposes sanctions against Damascus under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which allows for sanctions ranging from economic measures to an arms embargo and could also authorize the use of military force if necessary.
However, UN diplomats said after the Wednesday bombing that the meeting was postponed to Thursday at the request of UN-Arab League envoy to Syria Kofi Annan.
The Syrian president told the German ARD television channel in an interview on July 5 that the United States is “part of the conflict” in the Arab country and that “they offer the umbrella and political support to those gangs to… destabilize Syria.”