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

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid