ACTIVISTS ACCUSE THE REGIME OF DAMASCUS EXPLOSIONS

February, 21, 2013

At least two explosions were reported in Damascus on Thursday: one in al-Mazraa near the Baath Party’s headquarters, and another in the district of al-Maysat near an internal security headquarters. The opposition blamed the Syrian regime, while Health Minister Saad al-Nayef told the official news agency SANA during a hospital visit with the victims that “terrorists” were behind the bombing.

SAS News reporter Abbas Deiri spoke with Shaima al-Boti, a Damascus-based female journalist who has reported for Arabic news organizations including Al-Jazeera.

Q: Who is behind these explosions; the regime or the FSA?

A: I think it’s the regime because if the FSA was able to breach the heart of Damascus, how come they didn’t finish the job and hit the actual target? Why do they always get so close to the security department and then not hit it?

The numbers of casualties are not accurate because the regime has encircled the area and is only allowing the information they want to pass.

Q: What is this explosion important?

A: This is a repeated scenario. It happens every time we see a political solution on the horizon. The regime is trying to avoid [Syrian National Coalition leader Moaz] al-Khatib’s initiative, which frames the regime as an opponent of the people.

Q: Do you think this is a terrorist attack?

A: It’s pure terrorism and the regime behind it is the biggest terrorist in the world. We have evidence that the regime has ordered explosives from Lebanon yesterday. [See photographs of paperwork below]

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These two papers obtained by Syrian journalist Shayma al-Boti purport to show a packing list and memo dated February 13, 2013 to send 25 tons of dynamite and trigger fuse on the following day from Lebanon’s military to the General Establishment of Geology in Syria. The memo includes a request for a security escort all the way to the Syrian border.