Damascus bombings aim to disrupt peace talks: Syrian Foreign Ministry



Syria has condemned the recent triple bomb attacks that hit a suburb of the capital, Damascus, and killed scores of people, describing the bombings as an attempt to thwart “Syrian-Syrian” dialog underway in Switzerland.

Syria’s Foreign Ministry issued the condemnation in two identical letters addressed to the United Nations (UN)’s secretary general and the president of the UN Security Council following the three blasts that hit an area near the holy shrine of Hazrat Zeinab (PBUH), the granddaughter of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) on Sunday, Syria’s SANA reported.

Responsibility for the bombings was claimed by Daesh. At least 71 people were killed and more than 110 others were injured in the attacks.

The terrorists detonated a car bomb at a bus station at the overcrowded residential neighborhood of Koua al-Sudan in the district of al-Sayyida Zeinab on Sunday afternoon; then two bombers set off their explosive belts when medics and civilians gathered to rescue the victims from the first attack, according to the ministry.

The bombings came as delegates from the Syrian government and its divided opposition groups have gathered in Geneva, Switzerland, for UN-brokered negotiations aimed at finding a solution to the conflict that has been going on in Syria since March 2011.

In the Sunday letters, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said the terrorist attacks were part of attempts by terrorist organizations – which it said are backed by foreign states such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar – to disrupt ongoing peace efforts and to spread terror among the local population.

It said the attacks are also meant to raise the morale of the terrorist groups that have been suffering heavy losses as the Syrian army continues to regain ground in militant-held areas.

The letters said, “What caught our attention is that the perpetrator of this crime had said in a statement that the bombing comes in support of the opposition delegation coming from Riyadh to participate in the talks with the government delegation in Geneva.”

The Foreign Ministry also called on the letters’ recipients to condemn the Sunday bombings. It urged the Security Council to take deterrent measures against the countries that support terrorism.

Iran has also condemned the bomb attacks, saying that the foreign-sponsored militants in Syria are attempting to disrupt the Geneva peace talks.

Bashar al-Ja’afari, the head of the Syrian government delegation to the talks, also said at a press conference in Geneva that the bomb attacks are proof of the link between the so-called opposition delegates and the terrorists in the country.

Separately, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement that the incident “near the holy shrine is clearly aimed to disrupt the attempts to start a political process.” She condemned the bombings.

The peace talks for Syria are to be held in an 18-month timetable under a resolution unanimously approved by the UN Security Council on Syria last December. Resolution 2254 endorses a roadmap for a peace process in Syria. It also calls for a nationwide ceasefire in the Arab country, the formation of a “credible, inclusive and non-sectarian” government within six months and UN-supervised “free and fair elections” within 18 months.

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