CONFLICT RESOLUTION: Jabhat a-Nusra detonated two car bombs Sunday targeting regime forces in Sheikh Miskeen, including one rigged from a United Nations vehicle.
A suicide bomber called ‘Abu Adam’ detonated the first vehicle—which appears to be a Russian-made BMP-1—in the Sheikh Miskeen’s regime-held officers’ quarters. ‘Abu Khitab’ followed Abu Adam in a United Nations armored vehicle, with the black letters UN visible on the back.
Abu Khitab parked his vehicle in the officers’ quarters and returned safely to his Nusra comrades while the vehicle was detonated from a distance. The resulting explosion “took out whatever regime soldiers remained in Sheikh Miskeen,” according to an official Nusra Twitter account.
Nusra and other local rebel battalions are locked in a battle with the regime over the city, located in central Daraa province. By taking the city, rebels hope to cut off the nearby supply road between Damascus and the eponymous provincial capital.
In August, Nusra captured UN armored carriers after taking control of the Quneitra border crossing. The al-Qaeda affiliate also captured 45 UN peacekeepers during that operation, whom they released in September.
The dual bombing Sunday in Sheikh Miskeen is not the first time parties in the Syrian conflict have used UN vehicles for military purposes.
In July 2012, a presumably stolen white van with the black UN letters on the side was part of a regime convoy that raided the city of Darayya, according to a video shot by an activist in the city .
-December 8, 2014
-Photo courtesy of @JnDar3a_2.
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