Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
One of the problems with countries like Syria – secretive and authoritarian – is that whenever a bomb goes off or someone is assassinated, the list of possible suspects is extensive.
One can draw up a long list of enemies who could have plotted and carried out Saturday’s rare car bomb attack on a major road near a Syrian state security complex and an intersection leading to a famous Shi’ite Muslim shrine. The blast, which killed 17 people including a brigadier general and his son, poses another test to Syria’s reputation for keeping a tight grip on dissent and maintaining stability in a troubled area.
High on any list of possible perpetrators are Sunni Salafi jihadis active in Syria now, and who for years were able to cross through the Syrian borders into Iraq to fight U.S. troops. This stopped recently when Damascus tightened its borders following pressure from Iraq and the United States and opted for a policy of detente and moderation starting with indirect peace talks with Israel through Turkish mediation and a diplomatic drive to end its international isolation.
The jihadis, angry at Syria cutting off their routes, relaunching peace talks with the Jewish state and detaining their militants, could have turned their guns against Damascus. And this could have involved a mix of personnel — foreign expertise helping local Islamists.
The European-Mediterranean summit in Paris might have produced grand projects ranging from cleaning up the Mediterranean sea to using North Africa’s sunshine to generate power. But that is is not what it will be remembered for.
It will be remembered for the glorious welcome it bestowed on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who until yesterday was persona non-grata in the West, an autocrat leading a pariah regime, which many believe orchestrated the 2005 killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri.