Today’s Damascus bombing, the deadliest yet of Syria’s nascent civil war, has sparked a new flurry of concern about the growing role of terrorism in fighting the Assad regime, with government officials and foreign allies alleging “foreign backing” for the attacks.
There’s not much secret that Western and gulf nations have been cheerfully backing the rebels, hoping to secure favor with a new regime. With al-Qaeda and other al-Qaeda styled organizations ratcheting up their own participation, it is inevitable to question where these interests intersect.
Syrian officials say that the escalation proves that nations like Saudi Arabia are participating in backing the terrorist factions. Russian officials declined to name any specific nation, but seemed to concur with the assessment, saying that certain nations were “doing practical things so that the situation in Syria explodes in a literal and figurative sense.” Chinese officials likewise expressed opposition to the “outside military intervention.”
It is not at all clear, of course, what connections there might be between the terrorist groups and the more politically palatable rebel factions. Comparative Western ambivalence over massive bombings that kill scores of civilians is certain to add to the perception, whether true or not, that they don’t really care how Syria gets to regime change, so long as it gets there.