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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Damascus car bombing an assassination?

The car bombing that took place in Damascus on Saturday just got a lot more interesting.
A car bomb carrying 200 kilograms of explosives exploded near the Palestine branch of Syrian Military Intelligence, the London-based daily Asharq Alawsat reported.

The identity of the high-ranking military officer, who was reportedly killed as a result of the explosion, has not yet been revealed.

The Palestine branch of Syrian Military Intelligence is headed by Gen. Suleiman Dayoub, a close ally of President Bashar Al-Asad's brother-in-law, Gen. Asif Shawkat, who heads Military Intelligence and is considered one of the strongest men in the Syrian regime.
Now I know I said that if there was a non-civilian target, it could be that Israel was behind the bombing. But there are indications that Israel was not behind it.
The Media Line's analysts indicate this has been the second incident this year directed against a security target. Earlier this year, Al-Asad's top security adviser Muhammad Suleiman was assassinated in Tartous. The investigation into his murder was not made public.

Saturday's attack may be connected to Suleiman's assassination and to a behind-the-scenes battle within the top Syrian security command. Various unconfirmed reports over the past few months indicated that Al-Asad may have begun to worry about Shawkat's increasing power.

Syria, of course, is not revealing any such internal disputes, and is trying to place the blame on outside elements.
And as we discovered this week, Suleiman was also the IAEA's man in Damascus.

That's not the only source that pegs Saturday's bombing as an inside job. But the second source makes it sound more like a work accident.
An opposition group is claiming it has an eyewitness who saw the vehicle enter the street from a building belonging to a group related to Syrian intelligence just before it blew up. The group, the Syrian Reform Party, claims those killed by the presumably premature blast were members of Syrian intelligence, and not civilians as the government is reporting.
By the way, the 'Palestine' branch of Syrian intelligence doesn't advance the cause of 'Palestinians' in Israel - it monitors the movements of 'Palestinians' in Damascus. I guess that shows you how much the Syrians trust their 'Palestinian' brothers.

Another source hints that this may have had something to do with events in Iraq.
It happened in Mahlaq Road in Sayida Zeinab. Another 14 people have been injured. Sayida Zeinab is the Syrian capital's Iraqi area. Most of the 2 million refugees live there.
You mean they didn't put the Iraqis in 'refugee camps'? I wonder why....

The Syrian News Wire has a lot more posts about this bombing. I lifted the picture from him, but he has plenty more of them. So be sure to check him out. Especially if you're in Israel.

Heh.

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