A mysterious group calling itself “Saraya Qasioun” [the Qasioun Regiments] has claimed responsibility for the October 20 Damascus bus bombing.
The bombing, which targeted a military shuttle bus, claimed the lives of 14 people. Many of the victims were civilian workers of the Syrian Ministry of Defense.
In a statement, the group said that the bombing was a response to what it called “daily massacres” in opposition-held areas in northern and northwestern Syria. The group also shared a photo showing the targeted bus in an undisclosed location before the attack.
Saraya Qasioun emerged some two years ago. The group’s cells carried out several bombings in Damascus, mainly targeting military personnel and known government supporters.
A number of operatives of the groups were apprehended by Syrian authorities last year. According to the available information, the group is liked to Free Syrian Army commanders from the southern region, mainly from the town of Kanakir.
The group may be just a front for a terrorist group like ISIS, al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham or Horas al-Din. Another possibility is that the group is affiliated with the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood party, whose military wing carried out similar attacks in Damascus in the 70s and 80s.
The recent terrorist attacks in Damascus were clearly meant to disturb security in the Syrian capital and intimidate government supporters.
Syrian authorities are already working to apprehend the perpetrators of the bus bombing. Interior Minister, Mohamad Rahmoun, has vowed to pursue them wherever they are.