HomeNewsboxAttacks on 2 Syrian Security Offices Kill Dozens

Attacks on 2 Syrian Security Offices Kill Dozens


Airstrikes in Syria

More than 30 people were killed Saturday in attacks on two Syrian security offices in the central city of Homs. In Douma, on the eastern outskirts of the capital, Damascus, men evacuated children from the rubble of destroyed buildings after a reported government airstrike.


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BEIRUT, Lebanon — Attacks on two Syrian security offices in the central city of Homs on Saturday killed more than 30 people, including a senior official who ran the feared military intelligence services, state media and officials reported.

An insurgent coalition linked to Al Qaeda and known as the Levant Liberation Committee claimed responsibility for the attacks, which left another high-ranking officer seriously wounded.

In a statement on its channel on the messaging app Telegram, the group said five attackers had stormed the two security offices. The group said bombs were detonated at checkpoints outside the buildings just as rescuers arrived, leading to more casualties.

The governor of Homs Province, Talal Barzani, said there were three blasts and that they killed more than 32 people. He said the attackers wore explosives and detonated them in the security offices. The two agencies are about 1.2 miles apart.

SANA, the Syrian state news agency, said Maj. Gen. Hassan Daeboul, the officer in charge of the local military intelligence branch, was killed by one of the suicide bombers.

According to state television and the state-affiliated station al-Ikhbariya, Brig. Ibrahim Darwish, the leader of the state security branch, was critically wounded in the attacks.

According to al-Ikhbariya, at least six assailants attacked the two security compounds in Homs, clashing with security officers before at least two of them detonated their explosives. It was not clear if there were any civilians among the casualties.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group that monitors the Syrian conflict from Britain with the help of local contacts, said at least 42 security officers were killed in the attacks on the offices of the state security and the military intelligence services.

The differing casualty estimates could not be immediately reconciled. Such discrepancies are not uncommon in the immediate aftermath of violence in Syria.

Homs is one of Syria’s largest cities and is largely under government control.

The attacks are among the most spectacular against security agencies in the six-year-old conflict — a coordinated operation against two heavily secured government buildings using a combination of armed assaults and suicide bombings.

In the early days of the conflict, bombings directed against state security institutions were frequent, usually against military intelligence branches in Damascus and other cities. One such attack took place in July 2012, when insurgents detonated explosives inside a high-level crisis meeting in Damascus, killing four top government officials, including the defense minister and the brother-in-law of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian security forces run a vast intelligence network that operates independently of the military and with little judicial oversight. Human rights groups and Syria monitors say the various branches are responsible for many crimes committed during the conflict, including torture, extrajudicial killings and the shootings of protesters.

In a February report, the human rights group Amnesty International reported that 5,000 to 13,000 people were killed in mass hangings in the military’s Saydnaya prison in Damascus between 2011 and 2015. It said the detainees were sent to the prison from around the country by the state’s four main security branches, including the military intelligence.

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