In a hard blow to the cultist sectarian regime of Bashar Assad of Syria, a car laden with explosives was detonated outside the National Security headquarters’ building in the heart of Damascus Wednesday morning, killing the Regime’s Defense Minister Daoud Abdullah Rajha and Intelligence Chief Asef Shawkat as well as 50 other soldiers.
According to fragmentary reports from the Syrian capital, an army defector carried out the ‘martyrdom” operation, reportedly to avenge the killing by the army and Shabbiha (paramilitary Shiite thugs and hired killers) in the city of Harasta last month.
The state-run TV didn’t screen any footage of the bombing, ostensibly in order to not undermine supporters’ morale.
The bombing of the Syrian regime’s security and intelligence central nervous system is widely viewed as a turning point in the 16-month bloody popular revolution against one of the world’s most tyrannical regimes.
According to UN estimates, between 18,000 to 20,000 Syrians, mostly innocent civilians have been killed. More than 60,000 were injured and as may as two million were displaced. Averages of 100 civilians are killed per day in the internecine fighting.
The regime, which depends for its survival on the army and the small esoteric Alawite sect, has committed numerous massacres against the majority Sunni population. In the process, entire cities were destroyed by sustained artillery bombardment and tens of thousand had to leave their homes.
The regime says it is the target of an international conspiracy and calls its opponents terrorists and armored gangs.
The Alawites are a small anthropomorphist sect, whose followers constitute no more than 8% of Syria’s 23 million inhabitants. According to its teachings Ali ibn Abi Taleb, the Prophet Muhammed’s cousin and son-in-law, is God incarnate. The Sunnis, who constitute 87-90% of Islam’s followers, view the Alawites as heretics.
In the not-too- distant past, even Shiite ulema (religious scholars) in Iran and Iraq considered the Alawites apostates or pseudo-Shiites.
However, a few decades ago some Shiite ulema changed their minds in this regard and issued a fetwa or religious edict judging the Alawites to be authentic Shiites, despite the fact that anthropomorphism is viewed as a grave sin in the Shiite brand of Islam.
It is generally thought that the turnabout had more to do with political than religious considerations as the new revolutionary regime in Tehran harbored some hopes to convert the Alawites to Jaafari Ithna Ashari (twelvers) Shiism.
State terror and war crimes
Several human rights organizations have accused the Syrian regime of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity against its own citizens.
The regime is shielded by Russian and Chinese backing at the United Nation. It also receives material support from Iran, Hezbullah and Iraq. Last weeks, more than 20 Iraqi Shiites were killed fighting alongside Alawite terrorists.
The mainly Sunni opposition groups, including the Free Army battling the regime’s sectarian gangs, hope the latest developments in Damascus will lead to more defections within the Syrian armed forces and accelerate the downfall of the regime.
According to reliable sources in Damascus, hundreds if not thousands of officers are only Awaiting the opportune time to join the opposition.
“Defection is not a simple matter, the would be defectors need first to secure their families, lest they be killed or punished by the regime and its thugs,” one source said.
The death of Asef Shawkat represents a real shock for the regime. He was married to Bashar Assad’s sister Bushra and is widely thought to be responsible for the murder of thousands of civilians.
According to the Syrian ambassador to Iraq, who defected recently, Shawkat instructed his soldiers to murder, rape and steal:
“He asked them to do every thing and commit ever vice, to rape women, slaughter children, burn houses and furniture, only one thing he asked them to avoid: mercy.”
Shawkat lived by the sword all his life. He carries on his criminal hands the blood of thousands of his innocent victims. Hence, no tears ought to be shed for his death.
There is no doubt that situation in Syria will get even bloodier as the freedom fighters are knocking on Assad’s doors in Damascus. The regime rightly views the battle as his last. The same thing for the opposition, which fears an Iranian takeover of Syria if the regime is enabled to extend life by a few more years.
The latest developments are bad news for the Iranians as well. Iran wants to spread Shiite hegemony and therefore Shiite teaching in the Sunni heartland, which is the ultimate strategic goal of the 1978 Khomeini revolution. Iran and its allies use the Arab-Israeli conflict as a ruse to endear Shiism to unsuspecting Sunnis, frustrated by the impotence of their governments and their subservience to the United States, Israel’s guardian-ally. (end)