Bombs Target Syrian Army Bus, Arms Depot; 19 Killed

Explosive devices were planted on army bus

At least 19 Syrian troops were killed today in bombings in the capital city of Damascus, and an arms depot in central Syria. Three others were wounded, and no group has yet claimed responsibility.

The larger of the attacks was in Damascus, where explosives were planted on an army bus carrying troops. Two explosive devices went off, while a third was defused before it went off. Fourteen troops were killed, and three wounded.

Elsewhere, on the road between Homs and Hama, a blast went off inside an army ammunition depot. Details are still emerging and at least five people were killed.

There has been no claim of responsibility for either, nor is it clear if the two bombers were related or just coincidentally happened the same day. Attacks, particularly inside Damascus. are relatively unusual, though there are several Islamist rebels who might carry out such bombings.

Bombing vehicles in a city would be a particularly disturbing trend, as it will often lead to civilian bystanders being in the line of fire. Though this was a big problem early in the Syrian War, Damascus has been comparatively safe recently.

Unconfirmed reports emerged of Syrian forces retaliating by firing artillery into Idlib, killing around a dozen people. We have yet to verify this, and the reporting has come from the notoriously unreliable White Helmets.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of