Twin bombs rock Syrian capital

An image grab taken from Syrian state TV on 23 December , 2011 shows Syrians inspecting a burnt car at the site of a suicide attack in a security service base in Damascus on 23 December 2011. (AFP)

Published Friday, December 23, 2011

Updated 4:57pm: Twin car explosions struck security facilities in the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Friday, killing 40 people and wounding at least 100.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdesi said the attacks were carried out by "terrorists (trying) to sabotage the will for change" in Syria, and followed warnings from Lebanon that al-Qaeda fighters had infiltrated Syria from Lebanese territory.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Meqdad inspected the scene of the blasts, and also laid blame on al-Qaeda.

"On the first day after the arrival of the Arab observers, this is the gift we get from the terrorists and al-Qaeda but we are going to do all we can to facilitate the Arab League mission," he said.

Meqdad was accompanied to the bomb site by Arab League assistant secretary general Samir Seif al-Yazal, head of the observer mission's advance team which flew in on Thursday.

Yazal offered his condolences to the families of the dead. "What has happened is regrettable but the important thing is that everyone stay calm," he told reporters.

"We are going to press on with our work. We have started today, and tomorrow (Saturday) we will meet (Foreign Minister) Walid Muallem."

Two cars rigged with explosives blew up in the capital, according to Syrian state TV, adding that it was most probably the work of al-Qaeda militants.

State TV showed disturbing footage of charred bodies inside the cars that exploded, suggesting that they were twin suicide car bombings.

"The terrorist attacks left a number of martyrs, both civilian and military. Most of the victims were civilian," Syrian state TV said in a news flash.

The bombs struck the state security directorate and a security branch in the capital, according to Syria's official news agency, SANA.

An Associated Press reporter in Damascus said the blasts went off within a minute of one another in the Kfar Sousa district, where the state security and intelligence buildings are located.

The Mezze highway, an important route connecting Damascus to its suburbs, has been cut off by armed forces as army checkpoints conduct body searches in restive pockets, an Al-Akhbar correspondent said from the Syrian capital.

Mohammad Omar, an opposition activist, accused the Syrian regime of deliberately orchestrating the attack to "deceive Arab observers."

"No operation of this sort has occurred inside Damascus since the beginning of the Syrian revolution," he said, adding that "Damascus is completely surrounded by army and security checkpoints," questioning how booby-trapped vehicles were able to get so deep into the city, and so close to security facilities.

Omar also said that the Syrian regime had the most to benefit from the blasts in its continued attempt to prove to the world that it is under attack from armed terrorist groups.

"The direct beneficiary of this operation is the Syrian regime so that it can discredit the peaceful popular movement," he said.

Syria's state TV has released graphic footage of the casualties and destruction caused by the blasts.

SANA have also published extremely graphic images.

The deadly blasts come as Arab observers begin its mission to oversee the implementation of an Arab League protocol signed by Syria to end the violence.

At least 5,000 people have been killed since the Syrian uprising began in March, according to the latest UN figures. These figures are highly disputed by Damascus who accuses opposition parties of inflating them for propaganda purposes.

(Syrian state TV, AFP, AP, Reuters, SANA, Al-Akhbar)

Comments

The "activist," grandly quoted opines: ,

- "No operation of this sort has occurred inside Damascus since the beginning of the Syrian revolution."

Sure. The fact that the location was well-guarded explains why the attack needed a suicidal maniac to carry out! Right?
It is, probably, a sign of desperation - or a return to well established Muslim Brothers practices. In the early 1980s this was their mode of operations. At times they were financed by Mr. Saddam Hussein. Today, they have a different patron.

Still, the Muslim Brothers have been blowing up public buildings, railway tracks, oil installations all over Syria, and causing terrible hardship to the people they are 'liberating' in the cold winter!

- "Damascus is completely surrounded by army and security checkpoints,"

And so is every Iraqi city of consequence. Only yesterday another explosion took place carried out by similar psychopaths. The details of the manner with which these criminals prepared their crime does not depend on someone coming in from outside Damascus.

- The report adds: "Omar also said that the Syrian regime had the most to benefit from the blasts in its continued attempt to prove to the world that it is under attack from armed terrorist groups."

There are definite indications that the Muslim Brothers are desperate. Consider the attempt - reported in several sources in Europe - to take over a town close to Idlab in the north! A lunatic enterprise if any is. They did so with open communication channels - speaking in Arabic! And fell to the trap laid out for them by the Syrian 7th Division - where probably most of the "Free Syrian Army" thugs perished.

Should a human being be glad for all that? I don't think so. But those who continue to present a military challenge to a regime that long ago decided to settle its problem through military engagement, cannot be friends of the Syrian people... They are hardly well-wishers to each others, as they now send them on suicidal errands. One notes with sadness the the refusal of the Muslim brothers to attend any dialog with the Syrian regime - and not even with opposition groups.

Whether they executed the dastardly crime themselves, or sublet it to their friends for many decades, Al-Qa'ida homicidal maniacs makes no difference. Even the US and Britain washed their hands of the terrorist act, but we are waiting for the Elysee palace to tell us what it thinks, and how happy it is happy with its boys down the road, at the "National Council."

Or may be they are helping France to turn Damascus into their new Algiers?

"Omar also said that the Syrian regime had the most to benefit from the blasts"
While not total unthinkable, one has to wonder whether the people who support this hypthesis also, in their perfect logical consistency, support the hypothesis that Israel is behind the Hariri assassination ?

I hope the supporters of Syrian "revolutionaries" are happy. In Iraq, by the way, the car bombing was introduced by CIA.

Given the sectarian murders by "revolutionaries", the car bombing is NOT surprising. After all, they call for NATO "help", have they not?

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