A car bomb and a pair of suicide bombings targeted the Sayeda Zeinab shrine area of Damascus today, killing at least 71 people and wounding scores of others. Many of the wounded are in serious condition, so the death toll may still rise.
The Sayeda Zeinab shrine is the holiest Shi’ite shrine in Syria. At least 25 of the slain were said to have been Shi’ite fighters from various militias. During the Syrian Civil War, many militias from Iran, along with Hezbollah from Lebanon, have fought alongside the military against Sunni Islamist factions.
ISIS was quick to claim credit for the attack, one of the largest incidents in Damascus in recent months. The attack came amid talks in Geneva which aim for a unity government, uniting them with moderate rebels to fight against ISIS.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the bombings targeted a military bus carrying a militia to the district to change the guard. Many of the foreign militias in Syria are used to guard holy sites.