The latest turn in the 18-month people's uprising against the brutal Syrian government came with a highly coordinated bomb attack Wednesday that killed three top military and security leaders in the Syrian regime, including President Bashar al-Assad’s brother-in-law and defense minister, who were holding a meeting in the national security building. The bombing attack, which some now say was a suicide attack, has been seen as a major success for the opposition but raises lots of questions for observers and Western powers in regards t0 what could emerge from the conflict and how much longer the regime can hold power.
"Is the use of suicide bombing, for example, a sign of the greater involvement of Islamic jihadis?" Fareed Zakaria writes on CNN.com. Going on to write "What is relevant is this: we don’t know much about the rebels. We don’t know, for example, how organized they are or whether they are bands of free floating groups. We don’t know what is their agenda or agendas. And we also, despite today’s reports, don’t really know how effective they are."
Kofi Annan is still pushing his peace plan, but the ever-growing violence this week provides further evidence that his plan is not working. The White House says President Barack Obama called Russian President Vladimir Putin following the attack and discussed the need to support a political transition as soon as possible. While there still remains a sour taste amongst Americans to the idea of intervening in another conflict in the Middle East, more voices are speaking out against what appears to be the "coup de grâce that Mr. Obama and his indignant secretary of state are still counting on" where in combination with sanctions, one of the Syrian government's few remaining allies Russia; forsakes the Assad regime.
On "Real News" Wednesday, the panel discussed what the attack says about troubling new trends in bloody conflict, and what plans are still on the table for the U.S. to achieve the least damaging outcome in Syria for the West. Watch a clip below, featuring guest Dr. Jonathan Schanzer of the Foundation for Democracies: