News / Middle East

    Suicide Bombings in Syria Could Signal al-Qaida’s Engagement

    Demonstrators protest against Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad after Friday prayers in Yabroud, near Damascus, May 11, 2012.Demonstrators protest against Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad after Friday prayers in Yabroud, near Damascus, May 11, 2012.
    x
    Demonstrators protest against Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad after Friday prayers in Yabroud, near Damascus, May 11, 2012.
    Demonstrators protest against Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad after Friday prayers in Yabroud, near Damascus, May 11, 2012.

    As repeated bombing attacks hit Syria, concerns are rising that al-Qaida terrorists may be opening a dangerous new chapter in a conflict that has killed thousands of people.

    Protesters flee gunfire in the Syrian town of Aleppo. And near Damascus, amateur video shows United Nations peace monitors edging their vans through anti-government protesters.


    The protests came after massive car bombs Thursday killed more than 50 people. The bombs raise fears that the Syrian conflict could be worsening as al-Qaida terrorists step into the political chaos.

    “I think this is a symptom of the fact that the conflict is attracting the influx of jihadists who are often involved in these kinds of suicide attacks. And specifically it looks like al-Qaida,” said Heritage Foundation senior Middle East analyst James Phillips.

     


    The Syrian government is urging the U.N. Security Council to take action in the wake of the blasts.


    It says they are proof that Syria is facing terrorist attacks led by groups receiving foreign support.


    Until now, Syrian groups fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s government were mostly secular nationalists, but that seems to be changing.


    “I think it is a sign that the conflict is intensifying and that it is bringing into play a whole new dynamic of Islamists who are determined to hijack the revolution,” said Phillips.


    The United Nations is deploying 300 unarmed observers to Syria to monitor compliance with a ceasefire, which has not yet taken hold.


    “We have all our sympathies and condolences for the families of the people who have lost their loved ones in such incidents. This is what has to stop and that is exactly where we are focused,” U.N. spokesman Neeraj Singh.


    The U.N. monitoring mission is widely seen as failing because the violence continues to escalate.


    "And now we see some elements of the opposition are violating the proposed ceasefire and that will give the Assad regime another pretext for continuing what it is already doing, which is massacring its own people," said Phillips.
     

    There are concerns that Syria’s slide into chaos will give extremists more space to move in and operate.
     

    Join the conversation on our social journalism site -
    Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on
    Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

     

    You May Like

    Syrian Torture Victim Recounts Horrors

    'You make them think you have surrendered' says Jalal Nofal, a doctor who was jailed and survived repeated interrogations in Syria

    Mandela’s Millions Paid to Heirs, But Who Gets His Country Home?

    Saga around $3 million estate of country's first democratic president is far from over as Winnie Mandela’s fight for home overshadows payouts

    Guess Which Beach is 'Best in the US'?

    Hawaii’s Hanauma Bay tops an annual "top 10" list compiled by a coastal scientist, also known as Doctor Beach

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Gab
    May 14, 2012 7:08 AM
    Whatever their identity, the perpetrators of these attacks are "using signature Al-Qaeda tactics

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora