News / Middle East

Twin Explosions Target Syrian Military Building

This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows smoke rising from Syria's army command headquarters in Damascus, Syria, Sept. 26, 2012
This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows smoke rising from Syria's army command headquarters in Damascus, Syria, Sept. 26, 2012
Edward Yeranian
— Syrian officials say four security guards died when a pair of explosions hit a military building in central Damascus Wednesday, leaving part of the building in flames.  It was the third time in weeks that military headquarters have come under attack.

Plumes of black smoke poured into the sky of the Syrian capital as fire engulfed the top floors of the military's general staff headquarters. Nearby residents say the blasts broke windows and shattered plaster facades across central Damascus.

Witnesses say heavy volleys of gunfire could be heard for hours in the vicinity of Umayyad Square, where the blasts took place. Syrian state TV, which is located near the square, broadcast patriotic music shortly after the blasts but resumed normal programming soon after.

Syrian Information Minister Omran Zoubi blamed the attack on terrorists, a term the government uses for rebels and fighters opposed to President Bashar al-Assad. The rebel Free Syrian Army claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Syrian military said at least 14 people were wounded while four security guards died.

Government blames terrorists

A Syrian military spokesman told state TV that the “armed terrorists” set off two explosions, including a car bomb, causing damage to army headquarters. The spokesman said that “terrorists” opened fire randomly near the building in order to provoke panic among civilians, but that government forces chased them down.

Video clip of explosion
Syria Explosioni
|| 0:00:00
X
September 26, 2012 4:49 PM
Syria explosion

Syrian Information Minister Zoubi denounced what he called “rumors” and “allegations” on Arab satellite channels, saying instead the blasts had caused little damage.

Pro-government news agencies showed video of Syrian security forces firing into the air in what they say were “celebrations” after they regained control of the area. Some reports say defecting soldiers inside the building traded fire with loyalists after the initial blasts.

Opposition activist Rami Abd al-Rahman told Alhurra TV that many ambulances were heard rushing to the scene, indicating that there were heavy casualties. He said the attack is significant.

Al-Rahman said the attack was an important strategic blow to the government since rebels struck the heart of the regime's military command structure, although it was less important than an attack in July which killed killed Syria's sitting defense minister and three other top security officials.

Regime under siege

Khattar Abou Diab, who teaches political science at the University of Paris, said the attack on military headquarters indicates that time is running out on Mr. Assad's regime.

Abou Diab said that despite some claims that Mr. Assad has gained time because his forces are better armed, the situation is deteriorating, as witnessed by the rebels being able to attack nerve centers of the regime.

Iran's Press TV said one of its correspondents was killed by sniper fire and the Damascus bureau chief for another state-run news organization was injured Wednesday as they reported on the bombings.

The explosions are the latest to hit the capital during the country's 18-month conflict, following a bombing Tuesday at a building occupied by pro-government militias.  Rebels said they hoped that attack would kill top-level security officials.

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: Russian Television from: www.mossad.gov.il
September 27, 2012 12:17 PM
Re: The REAL reason NATO (=ENGLAND) decided to create an "Arab Spring"

Didn't NATO win back WHEELER air force base in Libya?

p.s. The new regime in Libya was (is?) so bad that the
group "Doctors without Borders" were refusing
to treat victims of torture, because they
were immediately taken away for
more torture when revived...

Now, after kicking out Mubarak, can NATO (=England)
still freely import goods through the Suez Canal?


by: Anonymous
September 27, 2012 9:52 AM
To those who cheer terrorism, you will sing a different tune when you realize that the rebels in Syria are far from noble and are willing to kill any number of innocents to further their agenda. The ironic thing is the msm never singles out terrorism by the rebels, in a clear case of a media bias agenda in Syria.


by: NATASHA from: RUSSIA
September 27, 2012 12:48 AM
That is a typical action of terrorists. I do not know how bad Syrian government are but surely they are much better than those unlawful terrorist groups. The western countries dislike President Bashar is that he is Russia's ally so they are trying to paint his face like a demon. They want to turn the whole Syria into a sea of blood by the so called "Democracy". In fact, can you see a real democratic society in Lybia, Iraq, Afganistan...Surely not.

In Response

by: Anonymous
September 27, 2012 9:57 AM
The only winner of the "Arab Spring" is the Muslim Brotherhood, who are riding the Democracy Bus, and will get off that bus when they reach their destination.


by: Alan from: Asheville, North Carolina
September 26, 2012 11:29 AM
Is Assad delusional or what? I can only imagine he is delaying the inevitable in order to pillage as much as possible from the country before his intended escape. Fortunately he will not be able to escape his Karma.

In Response

by: Anonymous
September 27, 2012 10:05 AM
Rubbish, Assad could have left a long time ago with a lot more than he could have if he left now. He seems more comitted to stay on based on his Baath ideology. It's far from over in Syria, despite the simple minded comments may lead simple observers to believe.


by: Anonymous
September 26, 2012 8:02 AM
Great work! It seems the infastructure of the Syrian army is slowly and surely being entirely disabled as planned. There is no way in the world Assads regime will ever survive what is in store for them. The best news of all is the Arab nations may step in to smother / extinguish Assad once and for all. I hope Assad hangs at the gallows on tv for the world to see.

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