Syria: Wounded intelligence chief dies after Damascus blast
last update: July 20, 12:05
Damascus, 20 July (AKI) - Syria's intelligence chief Hisham Bakhtiar has died from his injuries after Wednesday's Damascus bombing that killed several top associates of embattled president Bashar al-Assad, state TV reported.
News of Bakhtiar's death aired by state television channel al-Ikhbariya was also reported by the the al-Manar TV network owned by radical Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah.
Bakhtiar underwent an operation on his wounds in hospital but died on Friday, said al-Manar.
Assad's current whereabouts are unclear.
Syrian state television aired footage on Thursday of him swearing in new defence minister Fahd Jassim al-Furayj after his predecessor Daoud Rajiha died in Wednesday's blast at the national security headquarters in Damascus.
Rajiha's deputy Asif Shawkat, who was Assad's brother-in-law and secret services and deputy army chief was also among top security officials killed in the bomb attack on the Assad's security apparatus.
Russia and China on Thursday vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution threatening sanctions against Assad if he did not end the use of heavy weapons to quell a16-month uprising against his authoritarian rule.
Over 10,000 people have died in the conflict which the Red Cross says is a now a civil war.
Thursday was the third time in nine months that Russia and China wielded their veto power at the top UN decision-making body and the move drew sharp criticism from Western powers.
Diplomacy has been largely ineffective throughout the crisis, with Western countries condemning Assad but appearing reluctant to launch a robust intervention like the Nato military operation that in 2011 helped oust Libya’s longtime strongman Muammar Gaddafi.
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