Conflict & Justice

Syria: Brother of parliamentary leader killed


Tourists visit the Old City in Damascus on March 29, 2010. Tourists had been increasingly attracted to the Syrian capital's Old City, considered a protected site by UNESCO.



The brother of Syria's parliament speaker was killed while driving to work in Damascus on Tuesday, state-run media in Syria reported.

Mohammad Osama Laham, the brother of Parliament Speaker Jihad Laham, is the latest in a string of assassinations targeting Syrian officials, army officers and other supporters of President Bashar Assad and his regime, the Associated Press reported. Violence in the country has reached such levels of instability that according to the UN-Arab League Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, called the situation in Syria a "big catastrophe," and said that it was in danger of becoming the next Somalia, where warlords overthrew a dictator in 1991, then turned on each other for the next two decades.  

According to Turkish media, seven Syrian generals defected to Turkey on Tuesday, adding to the list of high level government and military officials to leave Syria in recent months, CNN reported. 

Meanwhile, in Qatar, the head of Syria's main opposition group warned that the forces trying undermine the Syrian National Council were essentially prolognging Assad's regime, Bloomberg Businessweek reported. However, critics of the opposition group, which doesn't include fighters or activists from Syria, and rather is made up of exiles and academics, have called the SNC out of touch and have argued that their mission has failed.