Attacks in Damascus aimed at hindering solution to crisis: Syrian Foreign Ministry

Two men cry in the aftermath of the suicide attack in Damascus

The Syrian Foreign and Expatriates Ministry has written letters to the UN Secretary General and the President of the UN Security Council demanding condemnation of Wednesday’s suicide bomb attacks in Syrian capital Damascus.

A suicide bomb attack targeted a court complex in the centre of Damascus in the late afternoon killing at least 31 and injuring dozens while another explosion later at a restaurant on the outskirts of the city injured at least 20. Another double suicide attack last week also resulted in the death of dozens of civilians.

The letters, according to Syrian state news agency SANA, said the attacks were “carried out upon orders of the terrorists’ masters,” and had “come in response to the victories achieved by the Syrian army and its allies against ISIS (Islamic State) and Jabhat al-Nusra [now Jabhat Fateh al-Sham] terrorist organisations.”

The Foreign Ministry also added that the timing of the attacks was not surprising as they came at the same time as meetings in Astana and Geneva, and “aim to increase the suffering of the Syrian people and hinder the efforts aimed at an end to the crisis in Syria.”

Accusing some countries of “supporting the groups behind the attacks” and legitimising them, the letters said lack of support for the Syrian government’s efforts “in the fight against terrorism” could only explained as “support for terrorists and their masters.”

“The Syrian government calls upon the UN Secretary-General and the Security Council to condemn those cowardly terrorist attacks and uncover their perpetrators and the governments and regimes that stand behind the terrorists,” the letters said.

The UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, agreed with the Syrian foreign ministries letter in a statement on Thursday and condemned the suicide bomb attacks saying they aimed to derail peace talks as the country marked the sixth anniversary of the uprising, Reuters reported.

The Syrian government and armed groups were both accused of committing war crimes in a recent report published by the UN.

Ongoing talks in Kazakh capital Astana were not attended by all of the opposition leading to accusations of stalling by the Syrian government. The opposition has accused the government of violating the ceasefire. Talks on Wednesday were aimed at defining proscribed ‘terrorist groups’ from others taking part in negotiations.