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Suicide attack reported in Damascus



Reuters reports that a suicide bomber may have struck in the Syrian capital of Damascus but that "opposition activists" were denying it:

A car bomb killed at least three people, wounded dozens and blew the windows out of buildings in northeastern Damascus on Tuesday as rebel fighters stepped up attacks in the Syrian capital, pro-government television stations said.

The al-Ikhbariya news channel said the explosion went off near a military supply office. Addounia TV gave a preliminary toll of three people killed.

Both atrributed the blast to a suicide bomber in a car.

But opposition activists in the area said it was not clear if it was by a bomb or a mortar round.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which closely tracks the Syrian civil war, reported that the blast was caused by a suicide bomber. From the Observatory's Facebook page:

3 people were killed by a suicide truck bomb in the Rukn al-Din neighbourhood of Damascus

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has been remarkably accurate on its reports of suicide attacks, so when it reports that one has occurred you should listen.

Today's suicide attack is the second in the capital in five days. On March 22, a suicide bomber killed Mohammad Said Ramadan al Bouti, a senior Sunni cleric who was a mouthpiece for President Assad.

No group has claimed credit for either of the recent attacks in Damascus at this time. The Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, has claimed credit for 57 of the 69 suicide attacks that have been reported 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). So far this year, 16 suicide attacks have been reported in Syria; Al Nusrah has claimed credit for 14 of them.



READER COMMENTS: "Suicide attack reported in Damascus"

Posted by James at March 27, 2013 2:43 AM ET:

How I see this thing developing in Syria is that the jihadists could be using Pakistan as sort of a 'role model' of what they would like to turn Syria into.

Included in that strategy would be to turn the Syrian military into a 'scarecrow' army which is in fact what they have done to the Pakistani army.

Unfortunately, at least in the short term, I see no end in sight. Maybe if we could encourage the Syrian military to 'turn the tables' on Assad might be the only option to turn this thing around.

Assad will do anything to cling to power, no matter how much suffering he will allow his people and his military to endure, much the same way Saddam Hussein did.

Posted by blert at March 27, 2013 4:06 PM ET:

James the Pakistani Army is not a toothless scarecrow force.

It's simply directed exclusively to the Indian front.

It's also dialed in for atomic and conventional war -- but just against India.

Islamabad is fixated on India. The map shows why.

As for Afghanistan and the FATA: they're side projects that have been handed off to the ISI and the Frontier Corps.

The Pakistani Army is so confident in their western gambits that it has never acquired any (PA) counter-force to the Neolithic fanatics.

Instead, the ISI has all of the FATA locals fighting each other -- to the end of time. Islamabad wants to keep Afghanistan and the FATA in the Neolithic Age -- or as close to it as possible.

Smart phones must bring that gambit to a close. They are probably at the cyber heart of the Pashtun change of mind.

Posted by mike merlo at March 27, 2013 6:49 PM ET:

@Bill Roggio
could this be a prelude to a 'mini' offensive on the part of the rebellion? has a pattern emerged yet on the part of the 'rebellion' suggesting certain 'possibilities' as the result of certain actions/behaviors?

Posted by may at March 29, 2013 2:26 PM ET:

It is US policy which is feuling Jihadists. Surely you have not missed Jihadists have come with every US led intervention in Muslim countries/or countries with Muslim populations from antiSoviet Afghanistan intervention onwards (list is growing:Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Libya and now Syria)?This appears to be because US has gained Saudi (and now Qataris and other Gulf Arab) support which appears to naturally mean Jihadis will be brought into every intervention. Wikileaks has revealed State Department is aware Saudis and Gulf countries are financing militants in Pakistan and elsewhere. Yet the policy of bringing the same people into every intervention in a Muslim country means US involvement is now since the first excursion in Afghanistan a poisonous exercise for all these countries who will be damaged for years or indefinitely by this problem.

Posted by may at March 29, 2013 2:29 PM ET:

Please see:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/security/library/congress/2003_h/030626-alexiev.htm
Testimony
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Terrorism: Growing Wahhabi Influence in the United States.
http://www.france24.com/en/20120929-how-saudi-arabia-petrodollars-finance-salafist-winter-islamism-wahhabism-egypt
How Saudi petrodollars fuel rise of Salafism
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/05/wikileaks-cables-saudi-terrorist-funding
WikiLeaks cables portray Saudi Arabia as a cash machine for terrorists