Daily Video

April 30, 2013

Syrian Prime Minister Survives Bomb Attack

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The Syrian prime minister narrowly survived an assassination attempt in that capital Damascus Monday as a bomb blast targeting his car missed its mark.

Although the blast tore through cars and buses in the Syrian capital, Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi was unhurt, and later seen meeting with economic advisors.

The high-profile attack comes amidst U.S. accusations that the Syrian regime likely used the chemical weapon sarin against rebels in recent weeks.

Some lawmakers are calling for action against the regime, including Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina who said Sunday, “ There’s nothing you can do in Syria without risk, but the greatest risk is a failed state with chemical weapons falling in the hands of radical Islamists and they are pouring into Syria.”

However, the White House has been reluctant to talk about immediate action. White House officials say they are investigating the claims of chemical weapons before formulating a response.

The two-year-long civil war in Syria has left an estimated 70,000 dead and 1.5 million more refugees in surrounding countries.


“It’s going to become a failed state by end of the year. It’s fracturing along sectarian ethnic lines. It’s going to be al-Qaida’s safe haven,” Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.).

“The worst thing the American — the United States could do right now is put boots on the ground in Syria. That would — that would turn the people against us,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Warm up questions

1. Where is Syria? What do you know about this country?

2. What is a civil war?

3. What is an assassination?

Discussion questions

1. Should the U.S. intervene in Syria? Why or why not?

2. What do you think motivated those who tried to assassinate the prime minister?

3. When have there been assassinations in the United States? What motivated the people who carried them out?

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