Car Bomb Kills 30 Islamists in East Syria Weapons Bazaar

Rival Rebels Claim al-Qaeda in Iraq Responsible for Strike

A major car bombing tore through a weapons bazaar in the east Syrian town of al-Mayadin, about 50 miles down the road from the border crossing into Iraq’s Anbar Province.

Syrian media reported the bombing killed 30 “terrorists” and wounded dozens of others, while rebel officials from the town put the toll somewhat lower, and claimed all the slain were civilians who just happened to be shopping at an arms market in the middle of a civil war.

Still other reports claimed the attack targeted Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliate who has been fighting over the town with the much larger al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), which controls essentially everything to the east of Mayadin up to Mosul and Baghdad as well as many towns to the north and west.

AQI has been keen to chase Nusra fighters out of its territory, or kill them if need be, as it tries to carve out its Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and in the past few weeks has seized several Nusra strongholds in the area.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.