A car bomb exploded at a Syrian military post in the eastern city of Deir al-Zor on Saturday, killing nine people, an attack that Syria claims is proof that foreign terrorists are fighting with the opposition.
The attack has all the hallmarks of an al-Qaeda-like assault and it happened in the east near the border with Iraq, from which U.S. officials have said the al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq has been crossing over into Syria.
Such attacks have become more and more frequent, notably peaking earlier this month with a twin car bombing in Damascus which killed 55 people. All sides in Syria claim the other is carrying out the terrorism.
While the Obama administration has criticized the peace plan brokered by UN envoy Kofi Annan as a failure, it simultaneously sends both lethal and non-lethal aid over to the rebel fighters, an unorganized, unreliable, unaccountable group of localized militias, at least some of whom have ties to “al-Qaeda.”
The Annan plan might have had a better chance of working if the West and its Gulf state allies weren’t aiding the rebels and if Russia and Iran weren’t still backing the Assad regime. All of the international meddling has probably prolonged the conflict and left space for al-Qaeda-like groups to exploit.