Yesterday, a suicide assault team attacked an intelligence headquarters in the city of Palmyra in Homs province. Al Shorfa reported that 19 Syrian intelligence personnel were killed in the double suicide attack. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated that the suicide assault was followed by a gunfight, and that 12 security personnel were killed:
No less than 12 members of the syrian security services were killed, with more than 20 others injured, as a result of the twin suicide car bomb attacks on the military intelligence (al-Badiya) and general intelligince (state security) branches in the city of Tadmur (Palmyra). 8 civilians were injured, some severly, by the heavy gunfire that followed the explosions.
SANA, the state-run news agency, claimed the suicide bombers detonated “in the residential area of al-Jam’yeh al-Gharbi neighborhood in Palmyra city, causing the martyrdom of several citizens and the injury of others.”
While no group has claimed credit for the attack, it bears the hallmarks of an assault by the Al Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant, al Qaeda in Iraq’s affiliate in Syria. The terror group has conducted several such suicide assaults in the past. The Al Nusrah Front has claimed credit for such attacks in announcements released on jihadist forums as well as its Twitter site (Al Nusrah has not updated its Twitter site as of Feb. 5).
The Al Nusrah Front has claimed credit for 48 of the 59 suicide attacks that have taken place in Syria since December 2011, according to a tally by The Long War Journal (note that multiple suicide bombers deployed in a single operation are counted as part of a single attack).