3 Coordinated car bombs kill 24 in northwest Syria

car bombs in north syriaThree car bombs exploded within minutes of each other in northwest Syria on Wednesday, killing at least two dozen people in a coordinated assault on government positions, a monitoring group said.

Fighting has spread throughout much of Syria and upended civilian life in many areas as rebels have pushed to uproot President Bashar al-Assad’s better-equipped forces and tip the balance of the 22-month-old conflict.

The World Food Programme said Syria’s government had authorized it to step up food aid to some 2.5 million people going hungry, but did not say when it would be able to reach them all.

In the meantime, the war shows no signs of abating.

Car bombs at government buildings and a checkpoint in Idlib province killed at least 24 people on Wednesday – most of them members of government forces – said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group.

“The car bombs exploded within minutes of each other. It seems they were coordinated,” the Observatory’s director, Rami Abdelrahman, said.

State news agency SANA said 22 people were killed in Idlib city when two car bombs exploded and said two other bombs were defused on a main road leading to Idlib.

Reuters cannot independently verify reports from inside Syria due to government restrictions on independent media.

Insurgents have often used bomb attacks to try to break a stalemate with government forces, who have far superior firepower including warplanes and ballistic missiles.

GOVERNMENT STEPS UP ATTACKS

Elsewhere in the country, the Syrian military stepped up attacks in the cities of Idlib, Hama and Homs, and seized hundreds of heat-seeking missiles from militants in the southern province of Deraa, state media reported.

The armed forces renewed their assault on “terrorists” in the northern city of Aleppo and its countryside, killing dozens in the rebel strongholds of Sukari, Bab al-Hadeed and Bustan al-Qasr, SANA reported.

A day earlier, two explosions at Aleppo’s university killed at least 87 people, many of them students attending exams, in the deadliest attack on civilians to hit the commercial hub since rebels laid siege to it over the summer.

It is still unclear what caused the blasts, which each side blames on the other.

Russia – Assad’s long-standing ally and arms supplier – condemned the Aleppo explosions.

“It is clear that this was a ruthless, bloody provocation, revenge by terrorists for significant losses they have sustained in the confrontation with government forces,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Damascus says rebels fired two rockets into the university.

If confirmed, the claim would suggest rebels in the area had acquired more powerful weapons than previously used.

WESTERN AND ARAB STATES CRITICISED

The deputy head of the main opposition coalition criticized Western and Arab states on Wednesday for failing to make good on promises to help the group isolate the embattled president.

Pledges of support from states had proven cosmetic and “loose”, the group’s vice president George Sabra told Saudi-owned pan-Arab daily al-Hayat.

“There is no real political support coming to the coalition to help isolate the regime,” he said.

“The friends of the Syrian regime are providing it with the tools to kill and the friends of the Syrian people are giving the regime the time it needs.”

World powers have shown little appetite for armed intervention in Syria. The United States on Tuesday played down a media report that chemical weapons had been used in the country – a move U.S. President Barack Obama has said would be a “red line” for Assad.

The U.N. count of the conflict’s dead has shot above 60,000.

In Geneva, the World Food Programme’s Executive-Director Ertharin Cousin told reporters Syria’s government had allowed it to use dozens of additional local aid agencies to reach the 2.5 million people the WFP estimates are going hungry.

The WFP has only been able to feed up to 1.5 million people in Syria each month because of the fighting and a lack of local partners capable of delivering aid.

Cousin declined to say how long it would take to reach the additional million people.

“We are always limited by the violence regardless of how many new partners we bring on,” she said.

Reuters

  • Prophettttt

    The end game for Syria is not a regime change, but to make sure Syria is crippled, destabilized, and neutralized. Not that the west would shed any tears if Assad is removed,but they know that the cost of removing him by force is beyond their ability unless they launched an all out war,and that is not easily doable,and not affordable.
    Their main purpose is to weaken his regime by weakening the Syrian military, destroying Syrian economy,and creating enough divisions and instability among Syrian people so that they would spend years fighting among each other ,and many more years trying to rebuild their country, and be in depth for another hundred years.The jihadists,and Alqaeda are doing a great job so far.Thanks to the Petro-dollars,and to the new Ottoman emperor.
    There is another important purpose behind this whole scenario; do whatever it take to break the Syrian Iranian link, and weaken the resistance bloc between Iran, HA, Syria, and Hamas. Therefore regime change is not a necessity for the US and the west to prevent Syria from standing with Iran. Just a failed and a divided state is enough, as long as sectarian and ethnic fighting in Syria continues. Israel, above all countries has an interest in a divided Syria into mini sectarian and ethnic states. That would assure the west and the Israelis that Syria won’t be a factor in case they decided to attack Iran. Even if the division didn’t materialize into formal states, The Iraqi model of dividing a country into sectarian and ethnic cantons, yet keeping everyone under one national identity is a living example. So the strategic alliance between Syria and Iran is what the west and the Arab monarchs are after.
    The poor Syrian people have paid a heavy price, and they will continue to do so because they were convinced that the west and the undemocratic Gulf States support freedom and democracy for them. They failed to realize that one can’t give what he does not have, and the dictators of the Gulf States cannot be relied on.

    • Persistent

      What you are saying is so true, however, another component to this scenarioo is that the west is broke financially and have no appetite of intervining militarily because they have no faith in the rebels and who is behind them. They have tricked those jihadiis to flock into Syria to fight under a false pretext and allow the regime to weed them out. It is like killing two birds with one stone (destroy/ weaken Syria and eliminate as many of those thugs as possible). Aren’t those the same clones they are fighting in Mali and Afghanistan?
      BTW, congratulations on getting your prophetic picture back……

      • Prophettttt

        Persistent,You’re right about the cost of an all out war by the west on Syria,and thanks to your comment for alerting me to my typing error,which I just corrected.I had intended to say “NOT affordable”. However,the theory of western countries luring the jihadists into Syria and having the Syrian regime wiping them out has been talked about by many people, It could be true,but still open for debate. True also that these fanatics are nothing but “on demand criminal fighters” and they are fighting and bringing chaos everywhere they go.
        During the Iraqi war,and during the american invasion of Iraq, Assad made the same mistake as His neighbors are doing now, by giving these people access to Iraq through Syria,and providing them with logistical support in order to fight the Americans stationed in Iraq..He is paying for it now,and I have no doubt that Turkey , Saudi Arabia and other countries will pay for it in their own countries and in the near future.Every few jerks want to establish an IMARA.

        As for changing my photo, it was as-Jumblat says -a moment of “TAKHALI”,and the “stress reduction kit” was requested by some one who needed it. lol

    • FreetheME

      Well Said.

  • Prophettttt

    The end game for Syria is not a regime change, but to make sure Syria is crippled, destabilized, and neutralized. Not that they west would shed any tears if Assad is removed, they never intended to topple his regime. Their main purpose is to weaken the Syrian military, and destroy its economy and, and create enough divisions among Syrian people so that they would spend years fighting among each other ,and many more years trying to rebuild their country, and be in depth for another hundred years.
    There is another important purpose behind this whole scenario; do whatever it take to break the Syrian Iranian link, and weaken the resistance bloc between Iran, HA, Syria, and Hamas. Therefore regime change is not a necessity for the US and the west to prevent Syria from standing with Iran. Just a failed and a divided state is enough, as long as sectarian and ethnic fighting in Syria continues. Israel, above all countries has an interest in a divided Syria into mini sectarian and ethnic states. That would assure the west and the Israelis that Syria won’t be a factor in case they decided to attack Iran. Even if the division didn’t materialize into formal states, The Iraqi model of dividing a country into sectarian and ethnic cantons, yet keeping everyone under one national identity is a living example. So the strategic alliance between Syria and Iran is what the west and the Arab monarchs are after.
    The poor Syrian people have paid a heavy price, and they will continue to do so because they were convinced that the west and the undemocratic Gulf States support freedom and democracy for them. They failed to realize that one can’t give what he does not have, and the dictators of the Gulf States cannot be relied on.

    • Persistent

      What you are saying is so true, however, another component to this scenarioo is that the west is broke financially and have no appetite of intervining militarily because they have no faith in the rebels and who is behind them. They have tricked those jihadiis to flock into Syria to fight under a false pretext and allow the regime to weed them out. It is like killing two birds with one stone (destroy/ weaken Syria and eliminate as many of those thugs as possible). Aren’t those the same clones they are fighting in Mali and Afghanistan?
      BTW, congratulations on getting your prophetic picture back……

      • Prophettttt

        Persistent,You’re right about the cost of an all out war by the west on Syria,and thanks to your comment for alerting me to my typing error,which I just corrected.I had intended to say “NOT affordable”. However,the theory of western countries luring the jihadists into Syria and having the Syrian regime wiping them out has been talked about by many people, It could be true,but still open for debate. True also that these fanatics are nothing but “on demand criminal fighters” and they are fighting and bringing chaos everywhere they go.
        During the Iraqi war,and during the american invasion of Iraq, Assad made the same mistake as His neighbors are doing now, by allowing these people access to Iraq through Syria in order to fight the Americans.He is paying for it now,and I have no doubt that Turkey , Saudi Arabia and other countries will pay for it in their own countries and in the near future.Every few jerks want to establish an IMARA.

        As for changing my photo, it was as-Jumblat says -a moment of “TAKHALI”,and the “stress reduction kit” was requested by some one who needed it. lol

    • FreetheME

      Well Said.