A bomb ripped through a high-level security meeting Wednesday in Damascus, killing three top regime officials — including President Bashar Assad’s brother-in-law — in the harshest blow to Syria’s ruling family dynasty and the rebels’ boldest attack in the country’s civil war.
Syrian state-run TV said the blast came during a meeting of Cabinet ministers and senior security officials in Damascus, which has seen four straight days of clashes between rebels and government troops.
Although state-run TV said it was a suicide blast, al-Asaad said his rebel forces planted a bomb in the room and detonated it. All those involved in carrying out the attack are safe, he said.
“God willing, this is the beginning of the end of the regime,” al-Asaad told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from his base in neighbouring Turkey.
“Hopefully Bashar will be next,” he added.
The violence in Syria has grown increasingly bloody and chaotic in recent months as the uprising has morphed from a peaceful revolt into an armed insurgency aimed at toppling Assad’s regime.