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.

 

Suicide Bombings in Syria Could Signal al-Qaida’s Engagementi
|| 0:00:00
X
Meredith Buel
May 12, 2012 6:02 AM
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.


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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid