Syria's defense minister and President Bashar al-Assad's brother in-law were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Damascus on Wednesday, in the most serious blow to Assad's high command in a 16-month-old revolt.TIME strikes a note of concern:
Besides a government crackdown, rebel fighters are launching increasingly deadly attacks on regime targets, and several massive suicide attacks this year suggest al-Qaida or other extremists are joining the fray.And, big surprise, who's one of the main impediments to peace? Russia.
The key stumbling block is the Western demand for a resolution threatening non-military sanctions and tied to Chapter 7 of the United Nations Charter, which could eventually allow the use of force to end the conflict in Syria.
Russia is adamantly opposed to any mention of sanctions or Chapter 7. After Security Council consultations late Tuesday on a revised draft resolution pushed by Moscow, Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador Alexander Pankin said these remain “red lines.”