Second bomb attack in the past days hits Damascus
A bomb attack hit near the Russian embassy in the Syrian capital on Thursday but caused no casualties, state media said, in the second such blast in Damascus in less than a week.
Eight years into Syria’s devastating civil war, President Bashar Assad’s regime is in control of almost two-thirds of the country.
Until last week, Damascus had enjoyed more than a year of respite from planted explosives.
On Thursday, state news agency SANA reported “a terrorist bombing in the Adawi area” in the northeast of the capital.
An explosive device was planted in a car, it said, “causing material damage but no casualties”.
Images on state media showed the mangled remains of a sky blue car. A scorched jumble of metal appeared where the car seats once were, but part of its bonnet had survived.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the blast hit near the embassy of key government ally Russia, lightly wounding four people.
The explosion came after another in Damascus on Sunday, which the observatory said hit “near a security branch in the south of the city”.
The monitoring group reported “some people killed and injured” in that attack, though state media said there were no victims.
Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said Sunday’s explosion appeared to be the first such blast in Damascus since a car bomb more than a year ago that caused no casualties.
Including Thursday’s attack, three explosions have rocked regime-held areas in less than a week.
On Tuesday, a car bomb also killed one in the regime’s coastal stronghold of Latakia, according to state media.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for any of these three attacks.
Syria’s civil war has killed more than 360,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.
It has since spiralled into a complex conflict involving jihadists and world powers.
With key military backing from Russia since 2015, President Bashar Assad’s forces have retaken large parts of Syria from rebels and extremists.
The Syrian regime in May retook a final scrap of territory held by the Daesh group in southern Damascus, cementing total control over the capital for the first time in six years.
Still outside the regime’s reach are a jihadist bastion in northwest Syria, northern patches held by Turkey-allied rebels, and a northeastern swathe held by Kurdish-led forces fighting ISIS.