Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Online scammers exploit MH17 crash

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Too many graphic images from Gaza ?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Gaza: online reactions

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Rise of the Robots

Read more

FOCUS

Overfishing and the global appetite for bluefin tuna: can Tokyo turn the tide?

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza, From Bad to Worse? With no Ceasefire in Sight, Conflict Spillover Felt Elsewhere (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Israel-Gaza, From Bad to Worse? With no Ceasefire in Sight, Conflict Spillover Felt Elsewhere

Read more

EUROPE NOW

Best of Europe Now (Part 1)

Read more

ENCORE!

Clapton pays hommage to 'Cocaine' songwriter J.J. Cale

Read more

  • Israeli soldier missing in Gaza, says media reports

    Read more

  • Ukraine rebels release bodies, black boxes from flight MH17

    Read more

  • An ‘explosion of violence’: French press reacts to Gaza protests

    Read more

  • US, UK oppose France’s warship sale to Russia

    Read more

  • Notorious ‘VIP’ prison in Paris closed for renovations

    Read more

  • Christians in Iraq's Mosul face execution or exodus

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Libyan militias fight over airport

    Read more

  • Ukraine football players refuse to return home after friendly in France

    Read more

  • China steps up communist education to guard against ‘moral decline’

    Read more

  • France slams ‘anti-Semitic’ violence at pro-Palestinian rally

    Read more

  • French rugby stars attacked with machetes and swords

    Read more

  • Hollande announces new military operation in West Africa

    Read more

  • Prince George picture released to mark first birthday

    Read more

  • Kristoff wins Tour’s flat Stage 15

    Read more

Middle east

Free Syrian Army blames Assad for Aleppo bombing

Text by Tony Todd

Latest update : 2013-06-14

After an apparent admission on FRANCE 24 by a senior member of the Free Syrian Army, the organisation’s overall commander has denied his group had set off twin blasts that claimed some 25 lives in the city of Aleppo.

Confusion reigned Friday, as the head of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) Col. Colonel Riad al-Asaad denied that his forces were responsible for a twin bombing in the country’s largest city Aleppo.

The denial followed an admission by FSA Col. Aref Hammoud to FRANCE 24 that it was indeed his forces who were responsible for the bomb attack in which 25 people were reportedly killed and scores more injured.

Col. Colonel Riad al-Asaad, in overall command of the FSA, however later told FRANCE 24 that the bombs had been set off by government forces to discredit the opposition and avert protests planned in the city on Friday.

FSA forces, he said, had been engaged in a fire fight with government troops before the twin separate blasts shook the city.

“The FSA fighters had withdrawn from the area, and then they heard the explosions,” he said. “But these were not set off by the FSA. The government organised these explosions to discredit us and to draw attention away from what it is doing elsewhere, killing ordinary people.”

Obeida Nahas, a spokesman for the Syrian National Council, added to the confusion by stating that it was not in the FSA’s remit to attack government institutions at all, and that he did not believe opposition fighters would have detonated bombs against government institutions.

“The FSA’s whole strategy is to protect civilians,” Nahas told FRANCE 24. “There is also an agreement between the FSA and us not to attack government targets, which are considered to be owned by the Syrian people, and not the government.”

Antoine Basbous, of the Paris-based Arab Countries Observatory, concluded that Friday’s miscommunication and confusion over responsibility for the attacks came down to the relative disorganisation of the FSA.

“It is not surprising that we get confused messages,” he told FRANCE 24 “The FSA is a young organisation that is lacking in structure and is badly organised. They operate in small units which still do not communicate or coordinate effectively with each other.”

According to state TV, the explosions at the Military Intelligence Directorate and the police headquarters were caused by “terrorists”.

The Aleppo blasts were the latest in a series of bombings that the opposition says the regime has sought to blame on them, including a January 6 suicide bombing in Damascus in which 26 people were killed and twin blasts two weeks before outside the capital’s intelligence agency which claimed 44 lives.

Meanwhile, the Assad regime continued its assault on the restive city of Homs Friday, where hundreds of people are believed to have been killed in relentless shelling over the past week.

Observers reported that government troops were preparing to move in to neighbourhoods that have been under opposition control for months.

Elsewhere in Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees reported that troops had opened fire to disperse thousands of protesters in the northwestern city of Latakia after Friday prayers, as well as in the southern city of Daraa and some suburbs of Damascus.

Date created : 2012-02-10

  • SYRIA

    Fears of major assault as Syrian tanks encircle Homs

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    Six-day death toll in Homs blitz 'exceeds 400'

    Read more

  • SYRIA

    EU mulls harsher sanctions as Homs assault intensifies

    Read more

COMMENT(S)