Syrian Rebels Say They Carried Out Damascus Attack Print article Send a Tip from AP 18 Jul 2012 post a comment (AP) Syrian rebels say they carried out Damascus attack BEIRUT Syria's rebel commander says his forces carried out an attack in Damascus that killed the defense minister and other regime officials. But he denies it was a suicide bombing. Riad al-Asaad said in a phone interview from his headquarters in Turkey that rebel forces planted a bomb inside a room where senior government officials were meeting Wednesday. Defense Minister Dawoud Rajha and his deputy Gen. Assef Shawkat, who also was President Bashar Assad's brother-in-law, were killed. The rebel leader denies government claims that it was a suicide attack, saying all those who carried out the operation are safe. He said the attack marked "the beginning of the end of the regime."