Tags: Al-Qaida | Syria | syria | war | france

Damascus Bombs Kill 10 as France Urges Action on Jihadists

Sunday, 23 Jun 2013 11:39 AM


  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

DAMASCUS, Syria — Rebel attacks in and around Damascus killed at least 10 people on Sunday, as French President Francois Hollande urged the mainstream opposition to "retake" areas that have fallen into jihadist hands.

Syrian government sources said a total of 14 people died in the three bombings that hit two police stations and a central Damascus district mainly inhabited by members of President Bashar al-Assad's Alawite minority community.

The blasts came as the army pressed an offensive aimed at ousting rebels from footholds on the outskirts that they have used as launchpads for attacks.

A three-year-old child was among three people killed by the car bomb in the mainly Alawite neighborhood of Mazzeh 86, the official SANA news agency reported.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least two people were killed.

Earlier, bombs hit a police station in Rokn Eddin in north Damascus and a security branch in Bab Musalla in the southwest, killing at least eight people, according to the Observatory.

The interior ministry said 11 people died, six of them "terrorists," in the two attacks.

"Al-Nusra Front terrorists tried to enter the police station in Rokn Eddin and the criminal security branch in Damascus," it said.

"Three suicide attackers clashed with police in Rokn Eddin's police station as they prepared to detonate their explosives.

"Three other suicide bombers" tried to attack the criminal security branch in Bab Musalla, it added.

"Branch personnel fought them off and killed them, defusing their explosives," said the ministry, adding that five people besides the attackers were killed.

The ministry said investigations showed the attackers were members of Al-Nusra Front, a rebel group that has proclaimed allegiance to al-Qaida.

Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi condemned what he called "terrorist explosions targeting innocent citizens in Damascus" and said they showed the "desperation of the terrorists".

In northern Syria, 12 troops were killed in a rebel car bomb attack on the edges of Aleppo city, the Observatory said.

France's Hollande, on a visit to Qatar, urged the mainstream rebel Free Syrian Army to push groups like Al-Nusra out of the zones they control.

"The opposition must retake control of these areas and push these groups out," he told reporters. If extremist groups "benefit from the chaos in future, Bashar al-Assad will seize this as an excuse to continue his massacres".

Hollande said that France was ready to help the Syrian opposition, but under certain conditions.

"We cannot provide these arms to groups that would use them against the interests of a democratic Syria or against us," he said.

His comments came after world powers supporting the rebels agreed on Saturday to provide them with urgent military aid.

Qatar, which hosted the gathering of foreign ministers of the "Friends of Syria", said the meeting had taken "secret decisions about practical measures to change the situation on the ground".

A final communique said "each country in its own way" would provide "urgently all the necessary material and equipment" so that the rebels could "counter brutal attacks by the regime and its allies and protect the Syrian people."

The rebels have reported receiving new equipment from "friendly" countries — a possible allusion to Gulf Arab nations — but the United States, France and Britain have been quiet on what they have provided.

Participants at Doha said that the reticence was partly a nod to concerns by Italy and especially Germany, which has repeatedly cautioned that weapons could aggravate the conflict.

Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani, meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, said that all but two countries agreed on plans to support the rebels.

Kerry said the United States remained committed to a peace plan that includes a conference in Geneva and a transitional government picked both by Assad and the opposition.

But he said the rebels need more support "for the purpose of being able to get to Geneva and to be able to address the imbalance on the ground."

Stoking fears of a spillover of the increasingly sectarian conflict to neighboring Lebanon, three soldiers were killed in clashes with Sunni radicals on the outskirts of the southern port city of Sidon, the army said.

Sunni cleric Sheikh Ahmad al-Assir, a fierce opponent of Hezbollah, has armed supporters who have also clashed with the powerful Shiite militant group in recent weeks.


© AFP 2014

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Taliban Says It Had Hit List of Boys to Kill in Pakistan School

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 14:26 PM

The Pakistani Taliban said it targeted the sons of army officers with a hit list in the massacre of children at a Peshaw . . .

Parliament OKs German Soldiers for Afghan Mission

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 12:56 PM

Lawmakers have given the go-ahead for Germany to contribute up to 850 soldiers to the NATO-organized training and adviso . . .

UN Will Take Time to Decide on Palestinian Resolution

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 11:32 AM

Negotiations on a draft U.N. resolution that sets terms for a final Israeli-Palestinian peace deal will take time, Jorda . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved