Syria: the twin bombings in Damascus points to regime weakend by incompetence, mistrust and treason

Twin bombing rocked central Damascus this morning. The first went off at 06:55 and was followed minutes later by the second bomb. The targets – the Ministry of Defense General Staff HQ and the Airforce Command building, are in a close proximity mere minutes away from each other, high profile with accompanying heavy security presence, located in the upscale ’embassy district’ of Abu Rumaneh not far from Bashar al-Assads private home. The bombings were followed gunfire that continued for at least four hours.

The fact that the twin attack could be executed against these targets, in that part of Damascus are in itself a strong indication of the continuing evolution of efficiency of parts of the FSA. But what are more interesting are the conclusions of the Assad-regime that can be drawn from this act:

The regime could not prohibit this twin bomb attack (i) despite what must have been a shake up of the security services following the bomb attack in Rawda at the General Security HQ that, among other, killed Asef Shawkat, against (ii) two high profile military targets (iii) located in the center of Damascus (iv) in the upscale Abu Rumaneh neighborhood – what has been described as the ’embassy district’ – an area that before the uprising were crawling with mukhabarat, (v) against targets located not far from the private residence of Bashar al-Assad.

The conclusions to be made of this are the following: The regime is weak – weaker than what has been anticipated. The conflict in Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria has sapped the strength from the army and security services. We know that the regime is pressed in finding soldiers that they can trust, hence the increasing reliance on airplanes, helicopters and artillery to combat the uprising. The leaks and treason inside the regime that made the attack against the General Security HQ in Rawda possible seems not to have been dealt with. The Assad regime is facing an internal crisis. It is slowly falling apart under its own incompetence, mistrust and the internal opposition from so-called loyalist who in reality are working for the opposition.


About Leif Eriksson

Leif Eriksson has worked in the field of asylum at the Swedish Migration Agency specializing in the Middle East, Schengen and the Dublin Regulation, as Migration Attaché and head of the migration section at the Swedish Embassy in Damascus 2005 - 2008, as a resettlement consultant at the UNHCR branch office in Damascus 2008 - 2009, Consul at the Swedish Consulate General in Jerusalem 2012 - 2013 and associate RSD/RST officer at UNHCR in Beirut 2013 - 2014. He currently lives in Tbilisi, Georgia.
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