Two bombings stuck pro-regime Alawite neighborhoods in Homs city on Sunday as residents took to social media to express their frustration over security services’ inability to prevent the attacks.
“Terrorists detonated a microbus near the al-Buhtari school in the Karm al-Loz neighborhood” resulting in 25 wounded, reported the state-owned General Organization of Radio and TV. Assailants reportedly detonated a second microbus, a fixed-line taxi used across Syria, at the entrance of al-Hadhara street in the neighborhood of Akrama.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, while residents took to social media to blame security services for their inaction.
“They [the security services, municipality etc.] don’t have free time, they’re fixing the Homs clock tower [a restored clock tower was unveiled in May] which you know is necessary; but explosive detectors are not necessary,” wrote Rzaan Saad on Facebook.
Major car bombings have rocked pro-regime neighborhoods in Homs over the past year. In one infamous October 2014 incident, twin explosions directed at a school killed more than 40 children.
No group claimed responsibility for either bombing. Both pro-regime and pro-opposition media reported that suicide bombers were responsible for the attack, which scuttled peace talks with the last rebel-held district in the city, Al-Waer. Rumors persist that members of the shabiha [National Defence Forces] were involved.
Members of the NDF “want the conflict [with al-Waer] to continue because they benefit from the revenues from supplies entering into the besieged neighborhood,” unnamed sources were quoted by pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat as saying in late April, an account matched by that of Syria Direct sources on the ground in Homs, but one that cannot be independently verified.
Some residents saw Sunday’s attack to be the work of pro-regime gangs.
“Checkpoint searches were very precise [this morning]…whoever did this is from us and among us. The cars are being loaded with explosives in the neighborhood itself,” wrote Miral Kahluf, a student at al-Baath University, on Facebook on Sunday.