A car bombing rocked Damascus causing ‘multiple’ injuries after rebel fighters reportedly tried to storm a military base near the Syrian capital. The violence came despite an official ceasefire honoring the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha.
Activists say dozens have been killed or wounded after a car bomb exploded in a southern district of Damascus. State media also reported “human and material losses,” in the attack.
The bomb reportedly detonated near a children’s playground in Daf al-Shok, a Sunni residential neighborhood. Extensive damage to nearby buildings was reported, and numerous casualties are feared.
State news agency SANA reported that “terrorists” were responsible for the blast.
Earlier in the day, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that rebels had laid siege to a military base one kilometer from the highway, and that government forces had opened fire in a nearby village.
“Violent clashes started around 10:30 am (9:30 am Paris time) around the Wadi Deif base. The army responded by bombing the neighbouring village of Deir Sharqi. It is the first violation of the ceasefire,” Rami Abdul Rahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told AFP.
A tenuous truce was called into effect hours earlier on Friday morning following an agreement between the Assad government and the rebels to observe a four-day ceasefire in honor of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.
UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi proposed the truce after visiting Syria earlier this week in the hopes of creating what he called “a political environment where political talks are possible.”
The ceasefire seemed doomed to fail from the start, as both the government and the rebels began setting numerous conditions shortly after the truce was announced.
The Free Syrian Army said that its fighters would not commit to a ceasefire unless detained rebels were released from custody on Friday.
Meanwhile, the Assad government said it reserved the right to retaliate against any violence by opposition forces during the truce. Damascus also said it would respond to any attempts to smuggle weapons across Syria’s borders, and would take measures to prevent ‘terrorists’ from entering the country.
Source: Russia today