Syrian Brigadier General Assassinated
An uprising began last year against President Assad. The U.N. estimates that violent government suppression has led to the deaths of 6,000 people since the protests began.
Last week, a United Nations Security Council Resolution called for President Bashir al-Assad to step down from the presidency. The resolution was vetoed by Russia and China.
As a result of the veto, the Free Syrian Army, a militarized group of protestors, claimed that there “was no choice now but armed force to oust the president.”
Government violence has increased over the past week, with Syrian forces attacking Homs and killing hundreds. CNN reports:
“Hundreds of people have died in Homs in the past week and at least six were killed Saturday, said the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, a network of opposition activists. Homs, located in the country's west, is Syria's third largest city.”
The AP writes of the violence on Saturday:
“The violence came a day after two suicide car bombers struck security compounds in the northern city of Aleppo, killing 28 people. The blasts were the first significant violence in an industrial center that has largely stood by Assad during the 11-month uprising against his rule.”
The assassination of Brig. Gen. Kholi not only represents a shift away from the nonviolent origins of the protest against Assad, but it also indicates the shift of the protest to the capital of Syria. According to the AP, the Syrian state-run news agency said that this assassination is the first killing of a high-ranking military officer in the capital since the uprising began.
“Assassinations of the government’s supporters and opponents have previously taken place in embattled cities like Homs and Hama, but Damascus had been relatively quiet until recent weeks, when reports of skirmishing in some neighborhoods began to surface,”
the New York Times reports.
The U.N is now attempting to reach a new resolution regarding Syria.