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Syria Developing: 40+ Iraqis Killed in Damascus Blasts

Syria Developing: 40+ Iraqis Killed in Damascus Blasts
March 11
15:34 2017

At least 40 Iraqis have been killed and more than 120 wounded by two suicide bombings in Syria’s capital Damascus on Saturday.

The attackers struck at the Bab al-Saghir Cemetery with improvised explosive devices, Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Jamal said.

Descendants and companions of the Prophet Mohammed — included the prophet’s cousin Ali, revered by Shia Muslims — are buried in the cemetery, in the southern section of the old city in Damascus.

Last year, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for deadly attacks near the Sayyeda Zeinab shrine.

However, pro-opposition activists are questioning if the Iraqis were “pilgrims”. They note that, in August 2012, almost 50 Iranian men were abducted from a bus travelling to Damascus. The Islamic Republic insisted that the men were on a pilgrimage, but they were later revealed to have connections with the Iranian military, including the Republican Guards.

TOP PHOTO: Scene of attack by two suicide bombers in Damascus on Saturday (Omar Sanadiki/Reuters)

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About Author

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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9 Comments

  1. caligola
    caligola March 11, 16:14

    Just like Tundra expected when commenting few days ago the article on HTS. I hope though its an isolated event and not a real trend picking up. Damascus like Baghdad few years ago were sectarian violence was established through 3 car bombs a day is not the answer (maybe for HTS it is) and its not the scenario of any revolution.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Bill Anderson
    Bill Anderson March 11, 18:05

    In Aug 2012 the rebels captured a bus with 48 Shiite pilgrims on board that supposedly were visiting a shrine. It later was revealed to be a bus full of Iranian Republican Guards. Fast forward to March 2017 and another Shiite group runs into trouble visiting a shrine. It would be interesting to know just who was in this pious group of Shiite pilgrims and why they felt the need to travel to a hot war zone.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Les Evenchick
    Les Evenchick March 12, 14:49

    Why would Iraqi pilgrims enter a war zone? I don’t believe it.

    Reply to this comment

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