Bombings shake Damascus, kill 70

The continuing turmoil in Syria turned even more deadly on Thursday morning when two enormous bombs were set off at a government intelligence building in Damascus, the capital.

The bombings took place during morning rush hour, guaranteeing that there would be lots of casualties. And there were. Some 70 were reported killed and over 300 wounded, mostly just innocent by-standers. The bomb site, now a large crater surrounded by burned-out hulks of cars, is near the al-Qazzaz intersection.

The Syrian government reports that the explosives were set off by suicide bombers.

The bombings come a day after UN special envoy warned that if Syria’s revolution continues, it could result in a civil war.

As CBS/AP reported, above there is always a lot of speculation about the perpetrators of such bombings, which have also occurred in Aleppo and Idlib.

The opposition Syrian National Council’s allegation that the regime bombed itself is not plausible.

So the perpetrators were almost certainly regime opponents. The similarities between this bombing and the ones we see in Baghdad raises the question of whether these guerrillas are linked or even the same. It has been reported that fighters once based in Iraq have flocked to Syria. It is possible that a forensics team could get at this issue more precisely.

If the bombing issues from some such quarter, is is politically stupid. Some 70 UN inspectors are in Syria trying to get a sense of where they country is going amid all this turbulence, and they flocked to the bomb site.

But it would be wrong to tar the Syrian Natonal Council with this horrible act. Their strategy has mainly been peaceful demonstrations. The SNC is saying absurd things such as that the regime bombed itself in order to avoid having the world community swing around and come to view it as a terrorist organization.

Likewise the bombings will alienate further the nervous, fence-sitting ethnic minorities of Syria, including the 14 percent or so of the population that is Christian and the 10 percent that is Allawite Shiite.

But in leaderless, networked revolutions there are lots of unconnected political actors working simultaneously, and that might well be the case here. If jihadi volunteers came from Iraq or elsewhere, determined to make good use of their munitions training, the SNC could do little about that.

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5 Responses

  1. Has anyone done a comprehensive profile of every group fighting as “Syrian opposition”, and the interaction between groups? Can any of these groups be convincingly cleared of responsibility for this terrorist attack?

    And why would the Free Syrian Army make an accusation of the Syrian government bombing their own people in a false flag attack? That’s on the level of 9/11 conspiracy theories. They hurt their credibility if they insist on such an implausible scenario.

  2. The similarities between this bombing and the ones we see in Baghdad raises the question of whether these guerrillas are linked or even the same. It has been reported that fighters once based in Iraq have flocked to Syria.

    If that is the case, then we’re talking about international jihadists. “Regime opponents” in Baghdad include disgruntled Baathists, al Qaeda types, and hard-line Shiites.

    The Baathists certainly are not going to work to bring down the Baathist regime Syria. Ditto the Shiites, who are not going to work to bring down a regime that is viewed as defending the Shiite majority.

    Therefore, if the people setting off bombs in Baghdad are the same as those setting off bombs in Syria, then the people setting off bombs in Baghdad are not the indigenous Iraqi opposition(s), but al Qaeda types.

    • Ooooh, goodie! Now we’ve got speculation, coupled with possibly slanted reporting, added into a false syllogism, all of which establishes beyond peradventure that the Forever War just HAS to continue, to “protect us” from the “international CommicalQuaeda conspiracy!” What a wonderful leap of faith!

      Other than a convenient, soul-satisfying label, what is an “al Quaeda type?” Did Timmy McVeigh, and for that matter his pals, and The Unabomber guy, and the others, all fall into that “See, they’re all like that and they’re Oh My God EVERYWHERE!” category that so many of us can’t seem to make any sense of the world without reference to? Or who maybe beat the drum loudly for that theme, for various personally profitable reasons? I seem to recall that members, the sociopathic ones at least, of all the various groups in “Baghdad” and the rest of Iraq, and of course in Notagainistan, ALL have “set off bombs” and done all that other murderous stuff to one another. Is the inescapable conclusion that “they” are all “al Quaeda types?”

      There’s this word, “discrimination,” and I don’t mean that in the racism sense at all…

      I mean, it’s never happened that bombings like this have been false-flaggy in the extreme, now has it? Or just dumb-ass random?

  3. That’s the whole thing about our great human culture set — we’ve got it so goobered up and complicated that no one can ever be sure about anything, and it’s so easy (just ask the CIA spooks and the Mossad and Savak and ISI and MI-(shhhhh) and NKVD and Stasi and all the rest of those shits-in-the-shadows,×2182790) to fire up the ol’ limbic systems of a lot of fellow humans and get them to shooting and torturing and consigning others to Hellfire and demagogic damnation. Not to mention sending whole nations of humans into idiot tizzies that nonetheless “feel right” on accounta how our little brains operate. As a way to keep the most of us slaving away to make the few of us ever more “comfortable.”

    Seems to me that the anonymous bombs, and many of the ones for which “responsibility” (what a sick choice of nouns) is claimed, are more about blowing up any bits of “community” and “commonality” and “commensalism” that might be starting to develop, in any subset of our population, than about any kind of tactical advantage. Too many of us humans get off on chaos — or, if I remember right, as in Iraq maybe up to the present, ordinary people with no particular axe to grind but who have no income thanks to geopolitical jerkymeatery like Operation Enduring Futility, get paid by the crazies or plotters to plant those roadsiders or pack the trucks and minibikes and briefcases and park them where a lot of other ordinary people are milling around.
    Too much “you never know” to ever be “absolutely honestly sure” about ANYthing. And all the “experts say” and “sources tell” and the rest of the freakin’ fog just make it ever more convoluted and worse.

    One wonders if there’s maybe a reason why “tribe” and “terror” both start with the letter “t.”

  4. Nobody in the media gives any credit to the reporting of regimes that are enemies of the US.But Iraq was truthful when it insisted it was not building WMDs and now the mantra is to dismiss the Syrian contention that the terrorists are supported by the oil shiekdoms of Qatar and the House of Saud plus Turkey that keep urging military intervention.

    Compare the media stenotyping of the opposition with the blackout on the Syrian side.

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