Damascus: Rebels say many killed in regime command center attack

Published September 25th, 2012 - 09:41 GMT
Blast in the capital
Blast in the capital

Early Tuesday morning, a large explosion targeted a school converted into a command center of the Shabbiha, the Syrian regime militiamen terrorizing the population. The opposition argues that the attack in Damascus left dozens of officers, soldiers and militiamen dead.

The opposition claims the attack was coordinated and carried out the Al-Faruq Brigades active in Homs and the "Brigades of Prophet's Son " (active in the capital). The aim of publishing this announcement seeks to deny the information relayed, amplified and exploited by the regime about the fragmentation of the opposition. But on the ground, the attack is of strategic importance because it targeted a gathering of regime forces (officers, soldiers and militiamen) in the Martyrs School. This command center oversees the operations of the government against rebels in the southern suburbs of Damascus. The importance of the operation also reflects the fact that the school is close to the headquarters of the famous "Palestine Branch" at the Syrian Intelligence, where the worst abuses and practices of systematic torture are taking place.

According to the Syrian opposition, "the attack this morning has been prepared with the help of Shabbiha elements." It said explosive charges were planted inside fuel tanks in the basement of the building, and two in the second floor which housed the meeting this morning. This included more than 200 soldiers. At least one general, three colonels (including Ali Assaf) and dozens of other officers - including three women in the rank of lieutenant - were killed and dozens of others were injured, the rebels say.

This operation came a day after the launch of a particularly violent video, filmed in a torture center. In this video, supporters of Bashar al-Assad raged against youths suspected of sympathy for the opposition.

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