Smoke rises from the site of an explosion in Damascus on Sept. 26, 2012. Syrian rebels struck the heart of Damascus early Wednesday, setting off twin explosions near the headquarters of the armed forces general staff, state media said. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)
Syrian rebels bombed military and government buildings in Damascus on Wednesday, killing 4 guards and injuring 14 others, including civilians.
The Free Syrian Army claimed responsibility for the attacks.
It’s a significant rebel offensive in Syria’s capital that recalls attacks from mid-July, when a bomb killed high-ranking government officials and President Bashar al-Assad’s brother in law.
Official state media, the Syrian Arab News Agency, confirmed “terrorist explosions” in central Umayyed Square, where air force and army commands are located, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The blasts occurred within 10 minutes of each other around 7 am.
Omran al-Zoubi, Syria’s information minister, said the explosions failed to kill the intended target.
“I would like to assure everyone that all our military comrades at the ministry of defense and the army general staff are well and unharmed,” he said.
Sporadic fire fights were reported earlier today in Damascus.
Press TV, Iran’s English news agency, said one of its reporters, Maya Nasser, a Syrian born journalist, was killed in Damascus while he was trying to report on the blasts. They say he was shot dead by a sniper.
According to activists 27,000 people have died since the conflict began, and, according to Reuters, 250,000 people have fled the country, and over 2.5 million are “in need of help.”
Intense fighting continues in the strategically vital city of Aleppo.
Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN envoy to Syria, said Syria’s civil war was “extremely bad and getting worse.”
There has been some talk of intervention, but at the moment any unified response seems unlikely. Al Jazerra reports: