Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Suicide attack kills Syrian Minister of Defense in Damascus

I can hear people scramble and minor spots of dim light start to flicker around the room as people turn on the lights on their mobile devices in order to ensure everyone is alright. The huge double doors open as guards rush in as they follow security procedures. The back-up generators have not yet kicked in and as the room is further illuminated by the flashlights from the guards everyone starts to wonder what caused this power outage especially given the location of the meeting.

I decide to take this opportunity and question my contractor about his knowledge of the attack earlier, my tail and his apparent dissatisfaction over my appearance at the meeting. Two of the guards approach me and I give them a nod. They are headed at the direction where my contractor was seated. I feel someone tap me on my shoulder as a voice asks me for a private conversation in the midst of this confusion.

I turn around and look at an unfamiliar face as the guards return to me to inform me that my contractor is gone. I hear another voice swearing as he claims his laptop is missing. The back-up generators finally turn on the power is back. As soon as the missing laptop has been reported the guards initiate a full lock-down of the building. This has been the second attack in as many hours on a location where I was present.

I turn my attention to the unfamiliar face and inform him he has ten seconds to convince me. He introduces himself as a representative of a private brokerage house with focus on the foreign exchange market and that he just received information about the Syrian situation and was asked by his superiors to relay that information to me. I keep listening to what he has to say. Just like the two attacks in two hours I have had two unknown people approach me with two pieces of information about an active case which is no coincidence.

He tells me that Syria's Minister of Defense was killed together with his Brother in Law in a suicide attack in Damascus. The war has taken an unexpected turn as President Assad is loosing key figures in his military operations. A top general has switched sides and supports the rebel movement in order to oust Assad, the Ambassador to Iraq resigned and switched sides as well while an Air Force Colonel took his fighter jet across the border to Jordan and asked for asylum. Tensions between Jordan and Syria have increased drastically after Jordan granted asylum. Syria accuses Jordan of providing weapons to rebels.

Jordan has yet to make a decision if they will return the MiG to Syria as they have granted the defected officer asylum who would face execution otherwise.Syria has roughly 150 MiG's in its fleet. Earlier this week a ship which carried three Russian attack helicopters was forced to return to port as a British insures withdrew coverage for the transport and the helicopters had to be reloaded to another ship which ahs been dispatched in order for the helicopters to be delivered to Syrian's Air Force.

Fears have risen that President Assad's regime is on the verge of collapse and about the consequences of it. Libya is still a mess after Colonel Gadaffi was murdered by rebels. Syria is the biggest ally of Iran who closely monitors the situation. Concern in the global intelligence community is that Iran will speed up its nuclear ambitions should Assad be ousted or murdered.Israel is the only major player who does not share this concern as they seem to have information that Iran already proceeds as fast as possible and while Assad's fall will add fuel to the fire they will not be able to work faster on their nuclear warhead then they already do.

Should Iran test a nuclear device, regardless of size, oil prices will sky-rocket to new all-time highs. I begin to understand why this brokerage house representative is sharing this information with me. I thank him for the intel as I receive a text message about the sale of Rocketdyne by United Technologies to GenCorp. As I turn my attention to the somewhat messy situation in the conference room the two guards approach me and tell me that we have to move as the location is no longer safe.

As we head towards the exit I hear the unfamiliar face behind me whispering that his employer has a proposal for me, but that we need to act fast as the situation heats up rather fast and that he will get in contact with me before the night is over. I look at my watch, it is 2348 hours as we hurry down the hallway where more heavily armed security guards meet us in order to provide an escort to our transportation.

My driver opens the door and two guards and I disappear into the car where I am greeted by another unexpected surprise.


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