History's End

History will end only when Man does

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  • Tuesday, April 27, 2004

    Terror Attacks in Syria

    There has been at least one, and probably more, terrorist attack inside the Syrian capital of Damascus. The Command Post Global War on Terror Page has the details. Apparently the UN building is on fire, and at least 1 UN worker is dead. This is fascinating, and possibly good news, in several respects. First, Syria has thus far remained immune to Al Qaeda attacks, no doubt in part because of harsh Syrian oppression of religious groups that might sympathize with Al Qaeda. Also, Syria's support for the various anti-Israeli Palestinian terror groups has given it a legitimacy lacking for nations such as Jordan. If Al Qaeda has decided to attack Syrian targets, it might mean one of several things. One is that Syria has taken to cracking down on Al Qaeda and its affiliates in Jordan, and AQ has returned the favor. Another is that Al Qaeda has failed thus far to make attacks work in other Arab countries, and thus may try to use attacks in Syria to achieve its political goals, which could include simple things as material support and sanctuary to overthrowing the Syrian government and attempting to install a pro-AQ Wahhabi government in its place. Until more information is available, I will withhold further judgment.


    The Reform Party of Syria is stating that the attacks may have been staged by the Syrians.

    Unknown assailants attacked an empty UN building today in the Mazza area west of Damascus with grenade launchers and small arms. Eye witnesses said that the building caught fire.

    SANA, the Syrian news agency, reported that the security forces had matters under control within hours. It first said that three men were captured and one fled the scene, then they recanted and said that three were dead and one was captured. Reports from Syria also claim that a Syrian security agent and a woman died during the attack.

    No explanation was given as to who might the assailants be or why they would attack an empty building in Mazza where foreign embassies and ambassadors' residences are located nearby. Reports that it could be the work of al-Qaeda were also discounted given that al-Qaeda rarely get caught and that their targets are usually large with large explosives. Further, al-Qaeda attempted to use explosives with chemical weapons that came from Syria to attack Jordanian targets so why would al-Qaeda not use the same spectacular targets and means of delivery inside Damascus?

    The only explanation one finds in this bizarre episode is that the whole event might have been staged by the security apparatus of the Syrian regime for the sole reason to offset the mounting pressure on the regime. Such an event can provide a credible cover under which Baschar al-Assad can make claim to the importance work his ruthless and autocratic regime serves to protect western interests.

    I have no idea whether or not this might be true, but it is certainly something worth looking into. Given that the recently thwarted Chemical attack in Jordan came in part or full from Syria, it would certainly be in the interests of the Syrians to make it appear that they are at odds with Al Qaeda.

    Hat Tip: The Corner

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