Series of blasts cause devastation (Image, AFP)
Islamic State have claimed responsibility for several blasts close to the shrine of Sayyida Zeinab where the grave of a granddaughter of the Prophet Mohammed is located. The explosions occurred in a predominantly Shiite Muslim suburb south of Damascus the capital of Syria. At least 50 people died and 120 were injured.
Rescuers faced carnage, the aftermath of a car bomb and 2 attackers that detonated suicide belts. Rami Ruhayem, BBC Arabic, south-eastern Damascus reported from the scene back to BBC UK stating,
“The destruction is huge. The building in front of me on Koua Soudan Street is charred black in the middle. I’m told that there is a military headquarters on the ground floor and families also lived in the five-storey building.
There is a fruit stall with blackened oranges all over the floor.
I can also see a large number of charred vehicles, including a bus in the middle of the street which is almost completely destroyed and overturned. The smoke is still rising from one of the cars on the side of the street.”
The blasts coincide with U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry’s efforts for peace in Syria to try to bring an end to the 5 year civil war. Meetings between the Syrian government and opposition groups are set to start on Monday in Geneva in the presence of UN representatives. There is debate over who should be included in discussions… National Post, stated, “while virtually all parties agree that both IS and the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front should be excluded, the two sides are divided over Ahrar al-Sham and the Army of Islam.” The Kansas City Star quoted Kerry who said “without negotiations, the bloodshed will drag on until the last city is reduced to rubble and virtually every home, every form of infrastructure, and every semblance of civilization is destroyed.”
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claim of responsibility
Most of the dead were Shia security guards, Sayyidah Zainab is heavily guarded..
#IS attacks in Shia neighborhoods are too remarkable.
“Bombs kill more than 50 people in Syria; progress is elusive at Geneva peace talks”
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.