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

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.

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Comment Sorting
by: Russian Television from:
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.

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.

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