BEIRUT (AP) - Rebels are claiming responsibility for Wednesday's bombing inside a high-level meeting in Damascus that killed three leaders of the Syrian regime.
They say they had been planning it for two months and finally decided to plant the bomb in the room where the top government security officials in charge of crushing the revolt were holding a crisis meeting.
Among the dead were the brother-in-law of President Bashar Assad and the defense minister.
The White House says the bombing shows Assad is "losing control" of Syria.
One of the commanders of the rebel forces who operate across the country said in a phone interview with The Associated Press, "God willing, this is the beginning of the end of the regime." Adding a chilling warning to President Assad he said, "hopefully Bashar will be next."
On the diplomatic front, the U.N. Security Council delayed a vote on a new resolution on Syria in a last-minute effort to get Western nations and Russia to agree on measures to end the violence.
The vote has been rescheduled for Thursday (10 a.m. EDT).
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