Concerns Among Damascus Residents After Several Blasts
Damascus witnessed several explosions in the past two weeks that have raised concerns among the capital's residents and its neighboring cities after the regime declared these areas as "safe" two years ago.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) documented six explosions in Damascus between the 7th and 25th of February, which were all caused by detonating IEDs in vehicles, killing five persons and wounding 15 others.
On February 7, an IED exploded in Khaled bin al-Walid Street in Damascus killing two regime soldiers. Three days later, a regime intelligence official was killed after his vehicle had been targeted by an IED explosion near al-Jala hall in al-Mazzeh neighborhood.
The third explosion on February 18 killed one man after an IED exploded in his vehicle in Bab Moussalla neighborhood, SOHR reported.
On February 20, al-Marjeh area was struck by an explosion targeting a military vehicle injuring several. The last two explosions took place on the 25th of February, in separate incidents. One explosion was in the al-Barakemah area, which killed one person and injured others, while the other explosion left several persons injured in the tunnel of al-Omawiyyin Square.
The Observatory reported that the person injured in the recent explosion of Damascus countryside was an officer in the Palestine Liberation Army after his car was targeted by an improvised explosive device on the road between Saqba city and Hazza town.
On February 17, the Britain-based war monitor reported that an IED placed under a car affiliated with the Republican Guard Forces went off near their headquarters in the area, which killed one regime soldier and injured two others, while the car was burnt down.
Soon after, security services were deployed, locked some side streets down, and raided nearby houses.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported that an explosive device planted in a car went off on Wednesday morning in Qatana city, west of Damascus, and the driver sustained moderate wounds.
A resident of Damascus neighborhood, Umm Mahmoud, a woman in her forties, reported to Asharq Al-Awsat that she does not feel safe, adding that she is afraid of going to the center of the city because an explosion can occur at any time.
Ibrahim, an employee of a private company, is concerned over explosions returning to the capital. He told Asharq Al-Awsat that the situation is now more difficult, noting that when clashes occurred in Damascus, people used to lock themselves in their homes and keep children inside. He wondered how these explosions continue to happen even after authorities declared Damascus safe.
Another employee, Mohammed, who works in a sugar-making facility, believes these explosions will make day-to-day activities more difficult for families. He explained to Asharq Al-Awsat that people already suffer from lack of services such as gas, electricity and now they have to live in fear of explosions.
Prior to authority’s control over the capital, Damascus witnessed several explosions that killed dozens most of which were claimed by terrorist organizations, including ISIS’ explosion in March 2017 which targeted the Judicial Palace, killing over 30 persons.