Bloody Syria blasts draw strong condemnations
Condemnations continue to pour in following bloody terrorist attacks that hit the Syrian capital, Damascus, with the Arab country’s Foreign Ministry calling on the global community to unite against terror groups and their supporters.
On Wednesday, at least 31 people lost their lives and over 100 others wounded in twin bomb explosions near the Palace of Justice in Damascus and a nearby restaurant. The casualties included court judges, lawyers, employees and innocent civilians.
Following the bloodshed, the Syrian Foreign Ministry sent letters to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the Security Council, urging the world body to censure the “heinous” and “criminal” act of violence.
The letters further said the attacks were a reaction to the Syrian army’s gains against Takfiri terrorists on the battleground, calling on the world body to “condemn those cowardly terrorist attacks and uncover their perpetrators and the governments and regimes that stand behind the terrorists.”
“The attacks aim to increase the suffering of the Syrian people and hinder the efforts aimed at [ending] the crisis in Syria,” the Foreign Ministry said.
The letter said the terror attacks came at a time when the Syrian government is engaged in peace negotiations with opposition groups in an effort to find a solution to the crisis gripping the Arab nation since March 2011.
The explosions took place on the same day that Damascus and opposition groups concluded their third round of discussions in Astana, capital, with the presence of Iran, Russia and Turkey as mediators.
Prior to the Astana talks, Damascus and opposition groups had held a separate round of peace talks under the United Nations’ auspices in Geneva, Switzerland, from February 23 to March 3.
The diplomatic efforts come amid a countrywide ceasefire, which was brokered by Russia and Turkey with the support of Iran between Damascus and militant groups last December.
‘Syria truce must be respected’
Among the first to slam Wednesday’s bomb attacks was UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, who said such crimes were obviously carried out with the intention of spoiling “attempts to sustain political talks.”
“The special envoy calls for an end to all attacks against civilians from any quarter in Syria, and reiterates his call for full respect of the ceasefire, which is being challenged by violations on the ground,” his office said in a statement.
‘Terrorists afraid of Syria victories’
Meanwhile, Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement severely condemned the fatal blasts, which, it said, coincided with the sixth anniversary of the outbreak of the foreign-sponsored crisis in Syria.
Hezbollah said terrorists carried out the attacks in response to the great victories achieved by the Syrian army and its allies on many fronts across the country against Takfiri terrorism and armed criminals.
The movement’s resistance fighters have been helping Syrian armed forces in their battles against terrorists in an effort to prevent the spillover of violence into neighboring Lebanon.
In Yemen, the Houthi Ansarullah movement also condemned the attacks, saying such criminal activities will by no means cause the Syrians’ resistance against terrorists to lose momentum.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry also denounced the attacks, saying terrorists are taking revenge on innocent civilians for their heavy defeats on political and military fronts in Syria.
The blasts came a few days after at least 46 people, most of them Iraqis, were killed in two bomb explosions near the Bab al-Saghir cemetery in the Bab Masala area of Damascus in one of the bloodiest attacks in the city.