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Damascus bombing is like an attack on the Situation Room

Bomb blew up inside the building where Syria's "Crisis Unit" was meeting.
Us situation room damascus syria boming 2012 7 18Enlarge
The main conference room is inside the Situation Room complex at the White House in Washington, DC. (SAUL LOEB/Getty Images)

The bomb that killed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law and a number of other high profile regime officials exploded either inside the room where they were meeting or the room next door, sources tell GlobalPost.

For some perspective, this would be like the US Joint Chiefs of Staff meeting in the Situation Room and a bomb going off. That is how unprecedented this security breach is.

GlobalPost's Hugh Macleod, who is based in Beirut and has been following the Syria story closely, calls Wednesday's bombing "the biggest security breach in the history of the four decade dictatorship."

"This wasn't a truck bomb, this wasn't on the street," Macleod said. "This was inside the building where the country's highest security chiefs were meeting."

While the death of the defense minister is a major blow to the regime, even more spectacular, analysts told GlobalPost, is the death of Asef Shawkat, the president's brother-in-law. Shawkat was the deputy chief of staff for the Syrian military. It is the first time a member of Assad's inner family circle has been killed.

"This is not a country of institutions," Macleod explained. "When you are a minister it doesn't mean much. Ministers are disposable. But to get the brother-in-law, that's just incredible."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/damscus-bombing-attacking-the-situation-room