The Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, released video today that shows numerous IED, or roadside bomb, attacks against Syrian military personnel. The group claims that in one attack, it “simultaneously detonated 50 explosive devices on a Syrian military convoy in the Eastern Ghotah area of Damascus,” according to a summary of the video by the SITE Intelligence Group, which obtained and translated the video. The attack reportedly took place on Dec. 6, 2012.
The video above, from SITE, shows the attack in question. It is difficult to determine how many bombs were detonated. I was able to count 35 distinct plumes of smoke. At 0:36, you can see a car explode (the video is filmed from a distance). The Al Nusrah Front cameraman also filmed the aftermath of the attack; about 10 vehicles were destroyed or so badly damaged that they were left behind.
I’ve been following the war in the Iraqi and Afghan theaters for years, and cannot recall such a spectacular IED event. I’ve heard reports of upwards of 20 IEDs daisy-chained together and detonated, but the attack in the video is by far the biggest that I am aware of.
This attack says quite a bit about the resources and capabilities of the Al Nusrah Front. Without a doubt, Syria has become one of the primary theaters in al Qaeda’s global jihad.