Two car bombs exploded in the Syrian Capital of Damascus today killing 55 people and injuring somewhere in the region of 400 according to a Reuters report today. The bombs hit the city just before 8 am this morning, local time, around midnight EST. The attacks could signal an nend to any semblence of legitimacy held by the country’s ceasefire which has been in operation since April 12th.
Since the declaration of the truce, which was in part negotiated by former Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan, violence has still been a common occurrence in the Middle Eastern country. The rivalries between the government forces and various anti government groups remain violent in execution.
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Syria has been immersed in conflict since protests, calling for the resignation of the country’s president Bashar al-Assad, were violently put down by the government over a year ago. The rebellion has continued in various phases of strength and weakness though mainly operating outside of the country’s capital. Today’s bombing was the attack in the city which has cost the most lives since the beginning of the insurgency.
Government sources are blaming foreign backed terrorists for the attacks though no group has yet claimed responsibility for them. The death toll in the country is continuing to rise as both sides dig in for what may continue to be a protracted bitter conflict.
According to Reuter the government forces have so far claimed the lives of 9,000 while Damascus claims opposition forces have claimed the lives of 2,600 people. Today’s bombing may get rid of any restraint that may have been applied since the truce came into effect. In the less than a month since the truce was signed around 849 people have been killed in the country on both sides.
The conflict does not seem to be nearing its close. Assad will not give up power and the last 14 months have done nothing but harden his position. The rebels, having fought this long, are not likely to give up unless forced to. There is support for the revolution from Arab States, particularly those that have undergone their own revolutions in the last 18 months.
Syria’s war is far from over. The country’s ceasefire, ineffective though it was, may have offered some semblence of structure with which to bring the conflict to a close. Today renewed calls for peaceful protests and promises of retaliation from government sources promise a harsh light shining on the region in the coming days.