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

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline 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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid