UN Prepares for Syrian Leader's Imminent Fall

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The international community is preparing for what some say is the imminent fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The United Nations Security Council meets today, where members are expected to vote on a resolution to demand that Assad withdraw troops and weapons from populated areas.

Russia has been standing in the way of the resolution, threatening a veto. America and its allies want a political transition as soon as possible.

"Assad is losing control. Violence is increasing rather than decreasing and that all of our partners internationally need to come together and support a transition," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters Wednesday.

Fighting raged into the night in Damascus, following Wednesday's strike at the heart of Assad's command center. The attack killed Syria's Defense Minister general Daoud Rajiha, Assad's brother-in-law Assef Shawkat, and a high-ranking Syrian general.

All three men are said to be responsible for the brutal crackdown that has killed thousands.

Wednesday's attack is arguably the deadliest attack on Syrian government officials in the 16 months of fighting. And opposition officials say it was an inside job.

Activists say government forces fought back Thursday, shelling a number of neighborhoods in and around the capital. Residents of at least one neighborhood fled their community after troops surrounded it and clashed with local rebels.

A group calling itself "The Brigade of Islam" is taking responsibility for Wednesday's suicide assault on the heavily guarded national security headquarters in Damascus.

The situation in Damascus is also getting worse. Thousands of Iraqis have begun fleeing, most of them Christians who fled to Syria to escape sectarian fighting in their homeland. The Iraqi government is now telling them to get out of Syria.

"Shiites and Sunnis are still bombing one another and fighting there so where can these Iraqi Christians go?" CBN News Chief International Correspondent Gary Lane, who is traveling in the region, said.

President Assad's whereabouts remain unknown. He has not been seen since the bombing.

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CBN News
Efrem Graham

Efrem Graham

News Anchor & Reporter

Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.