Tuesday, May 24

Did a Saudi proxy bomb civilians in Jableh and Tartous? Iran plays armchair detective

The U.S. news outlet CBS was almost exuberant in its reporting on the May 23 terrorist bombings in the Syrian government stronghold of Lattakia province that killed and wounded scores of civilians, and which Islamic State immediately took credit for. (CBS: This is Islamic State saying  'We can strike anywhere!!!')

In response to the claim some people in Iran's intelligence community put on their thinking cap. What follows is the theory they came up with. If the armchair detectives are right, this would mean the prime suspect isn't Islamic State but a Saudi proxy group(s) and by extension a U.S./Turkey proxy.....

Ahrar Al-Sham, Not ISIL, Responsible for Monday Blasts in Lattakia
Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 5:39

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Ahrar al-Sham terrorist group and not the ISIL is responsible for the seven bomb explosions on Monday which rocked the coastal towns of Tartous and Jableh in Lattakia province and left at least 150 people dead and tens of others injured.  [Pundita note: Syrian state media reported the number killed as 78; see the Reuters report I linked to above.]

The ISIL claimed responsibility for the bombings but there are reasons to reject the claim.

The ISIL doesn’t have massive or even a remarkable presence in Lattakia and even if its claims of responsibility for the attacks are proved to be true, the attacks have definitely been the result of its collaboration with Ahrar al-Sham or al-Nusra Front. Then in that case Ahrar or Al-Nusra have had the major share in the attacks, but asked the ISIL to declare responsibility in a bid to prevent being stuck off from the list of Washington's supported group as the US has openly stated that it doesn’t consider them as terrorist groups yet.

Another reason pointing to Ahrar al-Sham's role in the seven blasts is that the Syrian security forces arrested a suicide bomber concurrently with the Monday attacks who confessed to be a member of Ahrar al-Sham.

Also, the ISIL's past statements showed that the terrorist group uses the word of al-Nasirien (Alawi) for its victims but the yesterday statement used another method and used other words common only among the Syrians.

According to reports, there were up to three explosions in the coastal town of Jableh near the local railway terminal. State TV also reported a fourth explosion, at the emergency unit of a local hospital.

Tartus explosions were a car bomb, while another was caused by a suicide bomber. Another explosion was reported later.

Both towns targeted by Monday attacks are close to facilities used by the Russian task force in Syria.


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