Explosion Kills 1 in Syria’s Capital

Explosion Kills 1 in Syria's Capital

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — An explosion late Tuesday in a residential neighborhood in Syria's capital killed at least one person, destroyed a parked car and shattered windows in nearby buildings, witnesses and a news report said.

The cause of the explosion, which occurred about 10:45 p.m. in the upscale Kafar Soussa area, was not immediately known. Security forces sealed off the area and removed the destroyed car.

Al-Jazeera, the pan-Arab satellite television station, reported that at least one person was killed in the explosion.

A neighbor saw a body covered with a white sheet on the ground, the neighbor said on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. The identity of the victim was not immediately known.

Security forces kept reporters and onlookers at a distance from the blast.

Calls for comment from Syria's Interior Ministry, which is responsible for security forces, went unanswered late Tuesday night.

Residents, some in their pajamas, gathered to inspect the damage, carefully stepping around shards of glass and debris. Three other cars parked nearby were also damaged, their windows shattered and doors blown out.

There are no government buildings located in the mostly residential neighborhood.

According to the independent Syria-news website, a silver Mitsubishi Pajero car exploded in the neighborhood of an Iranian school in Kafer Suseh and damaged five nearby cars and surrounding building. An Iranian diplomat here confirmed to Xinhua the explosion near the Iranian school which teaches religion to Iranian students.

But the explosion did not targeted the Iranian school, said the diplomat. The Syrian authorities gave no official confirmation.

Kafer Suseh is a large residential area in Damascus which houses dozens of apartment buildings constructed in recent years, a big shopping mall and a main Syrian intelligence office.

Some sources are trying to make a link to Islamist extremists who may be trying to target Iran. The point to the presence of an Iranian school in the neighborhood and the planned visit on Wednesday of Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki to discuss the political crisis in neighbouring Lebanon. But the attack did not seem to target the school.

Comments (81)

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51. Alex said:

I said clearly that the two wrongs are wrong, didn’t I? …Want to try to read the last two paragraphs slowly?

Please do not try to stop people here from making that argument .. because both you and AP actually DO make that argument very often when people criticize Israel… AP used to do nothing but to reply by linking Memri material that show how the Palestinians are also violent like Israel.

Mr. Netanyahu and other friends of Israel automatically apply the same tactic that works so well with the friendly Fox news … whenever someone points out something violent that Israel did, the reply is “This is ridiculous … there is no moral equivalence”

Read this if you want:


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February 13th, 2008, 6:35 pm


52. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

If you cannot bring yourself to say that Muganiyeh is a terrorist than we have a big disagreement on what terrorism is and you have that disagreement with most of the Western world and also with your fellow Candians..

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February 13th, 2008, 7:24 pm


53. offended said:

The first category Alex has provided for you to read is the (targeting civilians) one. I mean are you so blind?

Is it conclusive that Mughanyia (may Allah rest his soul) had ever targeted civilians?

Will YOU AIG be able to bring yourself to say that the currently castrated Sharon was once a terrorist with full-fledged decoration??

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February 13th, 2008, 7:38 pm


54. Alex said:


Let’s start with Mr. Sharon and Mr. Shamir and Mr. Begin … were they “terrorists”?

For example, I googled the following pairs:

Bush / terrorist = 1,410,000 results

Assad terrorist = 668,000 results

Mughniyeh / terrorist = 7,130 results

Sharon / terrorist = 724,000 results

Shamir terrorist = 86,000 results

Bin Laden / terrorist = 661,000

so … I guess these things are not scientific and not universally agreed upon.

I am not into labels and into artificial borders and into misleading classifications into good guys and bad guys .. and that applies to all sides who are playing the dirty games of politics in the Middle East.

We had enough mess in the middle east everytime an American administration agrees with Israel’s “they are all terrorists” perspective … the Reagan administration and the G. W. Bush administration.

So, no, I have no interest in anything beyond condemning violence from all sides, yours and theirs… there is a better way.

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February 13th, 2008, 7:43 pm


55. Qifa Nabki said:

AIG / terrorist = 81,500

Qifa Nabki / terrorist = 498



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February 13th, 2008, 7:47 pm


56. Student said:

It sounds as if it was Israel… And congratulations! Killing a terrorist of his stature is what ought to be done by any country that has been a victim of his terrorist activity… Killing the leaders of terrorist organizations is not only effective, but the alternative, killing the foot soldiers is certainly less humane. The rank and file individuals who work with such groups are taking orders from their leaders. To hit those who give the orders and plan attacks, on civilian airliners, for example, reduces the loss of life that is needed to prevent future terrorist attacks.

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February 13th, 2008, 7:56 pm


57. Alex said:

Qifa Nabki / good = 835
AIG / good = 644,000

By the way, I was the one who first came out with the AIG thing.

But there is also an insurance company in Israel with the AIG initials.

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February 13th, 2008, 8:01 pm


58. Student said:


It is important to remember that a terrorist is a non-state actor.

Armies or heads of state can commit war crimes, certainly. Nevertheless, the moniker of terrorist doesn’t apply to state actions. Other terms, such as crimes against humanity or war crimes apply in the case of an action by a state.

Usually the word terrorist is applied to a non-state actor who intentionally aims to harm civilians for political reasons.

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February 13th, 2008, 8:10 pm


59. Qifa Nabki said:

Norman has posted an important piece by Nicholas Blanford, on the new post. You all may want to check it out.

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February 13th, 2008, 8:28 pm


60. No7 said:

To get back to the theorizing…

Haaretz writes that: “In past years he saw himself as the probable successor to Hassan Nasrallah in leading Hezbollah, leaving the shadowy world where he lived most of his life.”

That sounds silly–IM was no cleric, and deep relations with the IRGC do not compensate for a complete lack of popular base, or even public profile in Lebanon.

Even so, if IM did indeed have the high profile within HA that so many attribute to him, it’s hard to see what Syria would lose in killing him, IF they really did want to make an offering to Washington et al as part of a “realignment”.

Despite their alliance with Tehran, Syria has a long term interest in preventing the Iranian regime from gaining further influence within Hizbullah–and IM, by most accounts, embodied the ties between HA and the most hardline (and, perhaps, operationally independent) elements of the IRGC.

As for AIG and Qunfuz’s argument that Syria would rather kill him or hand him over in Lebanon, I find that unconvincing. Blow his car up in Syria, and most people assume it was Israel–after all, there’s recent precedent. But who would believe Syria if he mysteriously showed up in Lebanon, dead or alive? HA knows he’s under Syrian protection in Damascus, and its much easier to believe Israel could put a bomb in his car (which sounds like a 1 agent job) than kidnap and transport him.

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February 13th, 2008, 8:45 pm


61. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Shamir was certainly a terrorist. Begin and Sharon you would have to show that they intended to kill civillians as a way of waging war. That is not a clear cut case.

When you shoot an inaccurate rocket at a city on purpose, you are a terrorist. When you blow yourself up in a restaurant, you are a terrorist. When you hijack a civillian plane you are a terrorist. These are all clear cut cases. You want to dispute them or try to establish moral equivalence, be my guest. You know how that makes you look.

You can claim all you want that Sharon is a terrorist but then you would have to explain why the Europeans and Americans didn’t think so. All you will be able to prove is that your concept of terrorism is different than the one in the West. Fair enough. That is what the war of civilizations is for. 🙂

As far as I can tell according to many Arabs it is ok to kill civillians when you are losing and can’t do anything militarily. That is the old “give the Palestinians F-16s and they won’t blow themselves up”. Nobody in the West accepts this lame argument. You are not allowed to target civillians intentionally, period. Even when you are losing. That is why Hamas are terrorists and not “freedom fighters”.

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February 13th, 2008, 9:37 pm


62. Del Harrison said:

Sorry folks but I can’t really get very exercized about Mugnayiah’s departure from this earth. Let’s try – for once! – to leave the wider Arab-Israeli dispute aside for the moment. The guy had much to answer for stemming from the murder of innocent Argentinean Jews in the previous decade as well as his participation in the attacks against US personnel serving in Beirut in the 1980s. And don’t put words in my mouth. No, I am not in favor of targeted hits. But if you ask whether I’m shedding a tear over today’s news, my frank answer is no, I am not.

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February 13th, 2008, 9:43 pm


63. Alex said:


Enough with the Netanyahu tactics. I clearly said that all violence is wrong. If you insist on morphing my opinion into something you are used to arguing against (terrorists vs. freedom fighters) then I will remind you of our agreement that you will not be doing that.


Here is Assad’s meeting with the RAND Corp delegation in Damascus today.


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February 13th, 2008, 9:50 pm


64. Richard Silverstein said:

“Usually the most brave and talented people rise to the top of their organizations. If you kill them, you hamper the organization.”

AnotherIsraeliGuy’s comments are laughable. How has Rantisi assassination hindered Hamas? You say they have a 2nd rate leader in Haniyeh. Yet they’ve still managed to take over Gaza from Fatah; outfox Israel & Egypt by tearing down the international border; & the Qassam attacks have tied Israel in knots for months.

I’m no Hamas supporter but that seems pretty good work for someone so 2nd rate. And even if you argue Haniyeh isn’t behind some or any of that someone else in Hamas is. And even if Israel got whoever IS behind these tactics there’d be another 100 lined up behind him to take over.

AnotherIsraeliGuy makes the typical Israel mistake of thinking that its bankrupt counter-insurgency strategy actually works. Anyone who studies such insurgencies through history knows counter-insurgency of the Israeli kind rarely if ever works. And it certainly isn’t going to work for Israel–nor has it.

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February 14th, 2008, 2:18 am


65. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Hamas’ amateur leadership caused a division in the Palestinian national movement and now they have alienated Egypt with their “outfoxing” that has changed nothing. They certainly have weakened the Palestinians significantly. Even the Arabs, most recently the Egyptians, have acknowledged that the Qassams are hurting the Palestinian cause and not helping.

If you want to live in an utopian world, stay in the US and vote for Obama. It is always good to be reminded why in the shemona esreh there are nineteen blessings.

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February 14th, 2008, 5:03 am


66. Thomas said:

Geez, only wanted by 42 different countries. How could such a peace loving individual who loves Allah be wanted by so many countries. Perfect candidate for keynote at a peace conference at the University of Oklahoma. Assuming of course that Assad pays his airfare cuz Hizballah is broke!

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February 14th, 2008, 5:24 am


67. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

These are the guests Bashar loves. If his guests are “wanted” people will come to him to get them. Let’s send Obama to fetch Mesh’al.

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February 14th, 2008, 5:28 am


68. qunfuz said:

Del Harrison – as for your comments about US personnel serving in Beirut. Please keep your US personnel serving in the US. If you want them to fire missiles at villages, to protect traitorous officials, and to give the green light for massacres of innocent civilians, please do it at home.

I do feel a bit sorry for those duped black and Latino soldiers, or those who enter the military because they can’t afford to go to college, but I blame the American imperialists for their deaths, not the resistance in those countries that America attacks.

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February 14th, 2008, 6:21 am


69. Alex said:


Assad’s guest used to include almost all the Iraqi leaders of today.. the president .. prime ministers … etc.

At the tactical level I might disagree with some of the Syrians’ guests’ tactics (the ones involving violence, and especially against civilians) … but on the strategic level, Supporting the Palestinian cause, or supporting the Lebanese parties who can successfully defend Lebanon from frequent Israeli invasions is good.

Just like the decision of the previous Assad to host the supported Iraqi opposition to Saddam .. when they were not welcome by any other Arab country (or by America)

Obama has experienced advisers who know the difference between Syria’s so-so tactics, and its wise strategic goals.

You know who has the power to influence what kind of guests Assad invites? … AIPAC.

The more AIPAC influences the different American administrations in a way that makes it impossible to have meaningful communications with Syira that lead to solutions, the more you push Syria to use questionable tactics… and the more the whole Middle East pays for this abnormal situation.

So if you really care about who Assad hosts .. you can rely on Mr. Barak’s skills in planning and executing these missions, getting one “terrorist” every few years. Or you can hope that AIPAC will one day realize that they are not always helping Israel when they prevent peaceful solutions or when they make life difficult for the Syrians, Palestinians, or Lebanese.

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February 14th, 2008, 6:21 am


70. Tikun Olam-תקון עולם: Make the World a Better Place » Assassination of Hezbollah Number 2 Israel-U.S.-Lebanon Job? said:

[…] I’ve been reading interesting speculation among Josh Landis’ learned readers about the assassination of Imad Mugniyah in Damascus yesterday. Some say the Israelis did it. Others say the U.S. did it. Still others say the Syrians themselves did it to signal willingness for a deal with Israel and the U.S. But I’ve been thinking about a combination of several of these options. […]

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February 14th, 2008, 10:16 am


71. Richard Silverstein said:

“If you want to live in an utopian world, stay in the US and vote for Obama.”

No, I’m not foolish enough to think the world can ever be utopian. But thanks for the advice & I think I’ll take it by staying in the U.S. & voting for Obama.

And if you choose to foolishly believe that Hamas is weak & ineffectual why don’t we wait to see what happens after the upcoming Israeli invasion of Gaza. And even after such a bloodbath (for both sides no doubt, but esp. for the Gazans) let’s wait to see how effectual the IDF invasion will be in cutting down Qassam attacks on Israeli civilians in the long term.

Amen to Alex’s wise words about AIPAC…

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February 14th, 2008, 10:54 am


72. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

Syria is always “pushed” to make questionable moves, it is never Asad’s fault. We get it.

You must understand that nobody is buying these excuses anymore. There can be no meaningful discussions with mafioso that are willing to support terrorists that kill civillian Kurds, Iraqis, Americans and Israelis. Muginye is wanted in 42 countries but in Syria is welcome.

There are many ways to support the Palestinian cause without supporting suicide bombing for example. How about building schools and clinics? Strange that Asad prefers the violent methods. What is strategic about always not supporting Fatah and always supporting the Hamas methods?

Why did the Syrians stop harboring Occalan? Because the Turks made a credible threat. That is the only method that will work because Syria’s strategy is based on destabilizing its neighbors and the only way to counter that is a credible threat to destabilize Syria. That is the only “discussions” that will work with Syria.

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February 14th, 2008, 1:15 pm


73. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:


Yes, we shall see. Everything must be viewed in context. Last year the fewest number of Israelis died as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The problem with people like you is that you have no historical prespective. You latch onto current events without looking at trends. At the very least study how Israel was able to crush the second intifiada, build the wall, advance its economy and retain its allies while dividing the Palestinians and weakening them dramatically both economically and in their ability to hurt Israelis.

And the long term trend is obvious. In 48 the Israelis were about even economically with Syrians. Now they are 6-7 times richer. Go on, support the Arab regimes that have brought such dismal progress to the Arabs. But don’t you think that perhaps change is required there and it is the Arabs that are responsible to bring this change? How about chanting “Yes the Arabs Can!”?

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February 14th, 2008, 1:30 pm


74. Alex said:


You are reading too much into the occalan “harboring” (I love that word) thing.

You have to realize that there were two differences from the case of Occalan to that of the leaders of the various Arab popular movements that Syria works with today

1) Hafez Assad was very sick and tired that year. He certainly was not in able to lead a war with Turkey.

2) War with Turkey would have resulted in a serious setback to Syria’s strategic objectives…

If you think that “a credible threat” will come next year from your hero (Mr. Netanyahu) … or from this administration before it leaves office … then … good luck waiting. And if it comes .. I can tell you my opinion with no probabilities attached to it: If you want Syria to chose between going to war or to abandon its popular Lebanese and Palestinian allies through a “credible threat”force, then … just remember that in 2003-2004 when Syria was supposed to be next on the US invasion list … it did not give a damn… this is at a time when the US army had just “successfully” captured Baghdad with ease.

I am hoping that “a credible peace offer” will come next year.

It is OK, you will realize that it is a good thing.

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February 14th, 2008, 3:47 pm


75. Qifa Nabki said:

القصّة السريّة للقرار 1559
ريشار لابيفيير *

جرى اللقاء الأوّل بين الرئيس جاك شيراك والرئيس جورج بوش بعد حرب العراق خلال قمّة دول مجموعة الثماني التي عُقدت في مدينة إفيان في فرنسا في حزيران 2003. أما اللقاء الثاني، فكان في أيلول 2003 على هامش دورة الجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة في نيويورك. وكما يقول أحد مستشاري الرئيس الفرنسي، كان شيراك مقتنعاً آنذاك بأن عليه أن يبادر هو إلى «طيّ صفحة العراق لتحسين العلاقات الفرنسية الأميركية». فطلب من السفير الفرنسي لدى واشنطن جان دافيد ليفيت المقرّب منه أن يقدّم إليه اقتراحات من شأنها «العمل على المصالحة الفرنسية الأميركية». وكان السفير ليفيت مقتنعاً من جهته بأنه إضافةً إلى استمرار مشاركة القوات الفرنسية الخاصة إلى جانب الأميركيين في عمليات مكافحة الإرهاب في أفغانستان، ومساهمة فرنسا في إحلال الاستقرار في هاييتي، يمكن إبرام «صفقة» في لبنان، بل كان في الواقع يفكر في «صفقة بصفقتين» تقضي بمساندة رئيس الوزراء الأسبق رفيق الحريري، صديق جاك شيراك الشخصي، على مواجهة مطالب دمشق والمشاركة في الوقت نفسه في عملية إحلال الديموقراطية الغالية على قلب جورج بوش.

[read the rest]

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February 14th, 2008, 3:52 pm


76. AnotherIsraeliGuy said:

I look and see what works and what doesn’t.
Along the lines of your argument:
1) Bashar does not want war with Israel as the fact that he did not retaliate to the September bombing and does not look as if he is retaliating to the car bomb. A war with Israel would be a huge strategic setback for Bashar.
2) The tribunal indictments in June will signal the beginning of the credible threat.

I am not saying that this move will surely succeed. But I think that there is a better than 50% chance that Mesh’al will leave Syria before the end of 2008.

Syria has every right to support the Palestinian cause. It has zero right to support terrorism. It is a pity that Bashar has a problem seeing the difference.

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February 14th, 2008, 4:22 pm


77. Dick Parker said:

Does any of these commentators have a clue as to who did it? What a field day this has been for speculation!

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February 15th, 2008, 1:30 am


78. T said:


You think in cliches. No matter your age- grow up. And remember- if you want to joke around- humor is, by definition a necessity – you have to be funny. Or creative- you’re MIA on both counts.


It is not the most talented/brave who usually rise to the top. It is the most devious and ruthless/ and or the richest and most well connected. “Talents” in your book maybe. Assets vs Talents.

There has never been an international law definition of terrorism- it is not legally limited to non-state actors as there have been no legal definitions approved and accepted by all- only definitions flung by the Big State terrorists against the poorer terrorists on the low end of the economic scale… the F16/MOAB/nuke terrorists vs those economically limited to delivery systems utilized by the impoverished classes who must use their bodies – ‘suicide bombers’ etc.
The difference between a Sabra/Shatilla Sharon and The Manson Family may come down in the end to motive and capability, and of course who is applying the terror label. (and for minors on the blog, I’m referring here to Charles and not Marilyn).

As for this Almighty Tribunal- if the Assads did it? Jail them. But show us the evidence and not some fake, cooked up junk. And then go after Bhuttos’ killer and get behind the real al Qaeda. And all the other assassinations like the Bir al Abed bombing in Haret Hreik 20 yrs ago. Why stop at Hariri if you really champion justice, truth and democracy? Get them all!

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February 15th, 2008, 2:32 pm


79. NomdeGuerre said:

It’s likely that the cables and the assasination may be related in some overall way…needless to say…and whatever the larger picture I would suspect something larger may have happened that has incensed the Iranians.

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February 18th, 2008, 4:13 am


80. NomdeGuerre said:

Also, I would not count out an operation that may have involved the Israeli, US and French…or perhaps just US/French or even others…the French have incentive for their marines…in fact, there are numerous countries and organizations with incentive.


But, of course, the conspiracy theories will be endless and who did this will actually never be known – or long after all of us are gone 🙂

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February 18th, 2008, 4:21 am


81. Imad Mughniyeh is Dead | Robert Lindsay said:

[…] was the only person killed when a silver Mitsubishi Pajero vehicle (apparently Mughniyeh’s car) exploded in the upscale Kafar Soussa District in the […]

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January 17th, 2011, 11:50 pm


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