Syrian Defence Minister General Daoud Rajha "was the most senior Christian government official in Syria....His death will resonate with Syria's minority Christian population, who make up about 10 percent of Syria's population and have generally stood by the regime."
"Islamist group, Free Syrian Army claim Damascus attack," from Reuters, July 18 (thanks to Twostellas):
Two groups claimed responsibility for the explosion in Damascus on Wednesday that killed several top Syrian officials, including the defence minister and the president's brother-in-law. Liwa al-Islam, an Islamist rebel group whose name means "The Brigade of Islam", said in a statement on its Facebook page that it "targeted the cell called the crisis control room in the capital of Damascus." (Reuters)