April 30, 2013

Musaab Abo Katada is a spokesman for the FSA’s Military Council in the Damascus area. He tells Ahmed Kwider why he believes the regime is orchestrating large-scale explosions in Damascus. Syrian state media, meanwhile, blames the blasts on “terrorists.”

Q: Yesterday there was a bombing in Mazzeh and today another one near the old building of the Internal Affairs Ministry. Why should people believe the regime was behind these bombings? They targeted the regime’s stronghold.

A: There were some eyewitnesses who saw a team from the Syrian television at the scene even before the explosion. People thought the Syrian television was working on a report, but the blast occurred within minutes [after they arrived.]

Eyewitnesses said that a large security force was deployed in al-Marjeh area 20 hours earlier. Regime forces claimed they defused an explosive. That makes it very possible the regime planted the car and triggered the blast.

The regime has an interest in confusing the international community, to avoid sending an investigative committee on the use of chemical weapons. They want to say that it won’t be safe for them to come.

Q: Why would the regime be interested in presenting itself to the world as weak and unable to control Damascus?

A: The regime is weak, but they execute these acts to frame al-Qaeda, the extremist groups, or the FSA, in order to damage their popularity.

On the political level, they’re trying to shuffle the cards and send a message that it’s not safe for the [UN] investigation committee to come to Syria.

Q: Do you think Jabhat a-Nusra and the FSA will be accused of this attack, considering it’s been executed against the regime?

A: We accuse the Syrian regime of this attack. Jabhat a-Nusra and the FSA have nothing to do with it.

Q: How can you prove it wasn’t Jabhat a-Nura that stood behind it? They haven’t made any statement denying that.

A: Because eyewitnesses said that a team from the Syrian television was present minutes before the blast. They said that a large security force was deployed in al-Marjeh area 20 hours earlier. Regime forces claimed they defused an explosive. That makes it very possible the regime planted the car and triggered the blast.