Suicide Bombers Target Damascus Police Centre

At least two people have been killed and six others injured in a suicide attack near the police headquarters in Damascus on Wednesday. Two suicide bombers attempted to infiltrate Syria’s main police station before detonating their explosive devices, state media reported.

A third suicide bomber attempted to break free of authorities before being chased down and detonating his suicide belt at a market entrance on the same street. The Islamic State has already claimed responsibility for the attack.

The attack marks the second of its kind this month after 17 people were reported dead in a similar suicide bomb attack on a police centre in Midan. On this occasion, one attacker was able to reach the first floor of the police headquarters before detonating his explosive device.

The Midan police centre was similarly targeted in 2016 when a seven-year-old girl entered the building and detonated the explosive belt she was wearing.

While Syria has remained relatively secure throughout the six-year conflict, recent attacks and bombings have shaken the district.

Syrian troops have captured several areas within and surrounding Damascus from rebel factions over the past year. Interior Minister Mohammad al-Shaar praised the efforts of the Syrian authorities on state television.

“It’s natural to expect that the terrorists will resort to acts like this … but they are all desperate acts,” Shaar said. “Such operations are thwarted on a daily basis.”

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), September has been the deadliest month of the Syrian conflict this year. Within the past 30 days, a total 3,000 people, including just under 1000 civilians, were killed.

More than 330,000 people have been killed since Syria’s conflict began in March 2011, following a series of anti-government protests.

This spike in fatalities is largely due to an increase in fighting and air raids against jihadists in the north and east of Syria. At the moment, President Bashar al-Assad is attempting to retake areas in the eastern province of Deir Az Zor with the assistance of Russian air raids. The Syrian Democratic forces, a coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters backed by the US, are also fighting ISIS in its former northern bastion of Raqqa city.

While the fight against ISIS rages on, recent peace accords between Turkey, Syrian allies, Russia and Iran have seen certain areas in Syria marked as “de-escalation zones”. This attempt to precipitate peace will hopefully bring a measure of calm to the nation and its neighbouring countries.