An explosion near Iran’s cultural office in Syria’s capital, Damascus, has wounded three Syrians, as terrorist activities continue in the country despite a ceasefire.
The incident took place on Tuesday when a bomb planted inside a car went off at al-Marajeh Square in the old Damascus area. The Syrian government has blamed armed terrorist groups for the attack.
One of the victims is said to be in critical condition.
Iran’s Ambassador to Syria Mohammad Reza Raouf Sheibani said in an interview with Mehr news agency that Iran’s cultural office was not the target of the blast.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Tawfiq al-Jarrad, a Damascus-based political analyst, to further discuss the issue. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Let’s start with what has occurred, one of the incidents that occurred in Hama and this comes from the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in which the days violence started when local rebels attacked a car of an army officer.
This is a Syrian army officer that was attacked, killing him and his assistant. A: the ceasefire being broken by these rebels and B: Damascus –when the ceasefire came into effect– saying they will respond in kind. So here we see the ceasefire being broken by the rebels.
al-Jarrad: First of all, let me say that you are facing very contradicting reports about the situation in Syria, especially since the arrival of Kofi Annan delegation.
Anyhow, despite proclaiming support for the 6-point Syrian peace initiative proposed by the joint United Nations and Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan, NATO –this is the one– and the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council also are making some intrigues just to unravel the plan that they are calling that should be carried out for the benefit of the Syrian people.
Anyhow, such an aim has never been achieved until now because we are facing the second page of the story. Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are planning too, especially after the visit which Erdogan had made to Riyadh last week.
They are planning to establish what we may call a buffer zone or a safe zone or something to lead them for humanitarian under the umbrella of humanitarian intervention. Are they sure that they going to establish this one? I have a lot of suspicion about the story.
They are playing just to tell us that they are trying to cheat or they are really cheating us or they are planning something wrong including launching a secret war against Syria. Anyhow, are they sure that they are going to establish one?
Let me say that NATO is not in the case of establishing such a category because the United States of America is facing, as far as the NATO is concerned, a deficit, 11.6 percent of the NATO budget.
While the three European big powers of the NATO, I mean Britain, France and Germany, are paying 4.4 according to war political policy in John Hopkins University of America. Such a payment will never carry out even the payment of the NATO forces that are going to push into Syria.
Anyhow, what is coming in Syria now, they are not planning just for establishing peace; they are conspiring how to topple down Bashar al-Assad regime and how they are going to say what they are planning out for the anti-benefit of the Syrian people.
Press TV: The point that you make is very well taken in terms of NATO, its budget, it is US funded mainly and that these other countries that are part of NATO contribute a small amount.
But you have the Arab League Al-Arabi coming out and saying that there is international consensus that this should be a political process, what international consensus is he talking about when you have countries, as you mentioned, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar –not to mention the US who is funding the armed groups inside Syria so that they are unraveling this not only the Kofi Annan’s peace plan but also any type of political process that the Assad government has proceeded. So they are not part of the international community anymore, do you not think?
al-Jarrad: If you are speaking about the internal affairs of Syria, I can say, from the point of assuring you, that the situation is settled and under the control of the Syrian army.
Anyhow, you cannot prevent anybody while they are encouraged from this side or that side especially from Lebanon, Turkey and from the southern part of Jordan where they are going to have a maneuver within the next month of May and will stay some two weeks.
I think they are going to plan how they are going to launch an attack against Syria from the southern part. Despite such a category, this will push the area into a very difficult situation which [Anthony Crook], the man of the international group of crisis, stated, according to the Guardian British daily newspaper, that they are planning to separated the relations or to frustrate the relations between Iran and Syria from one part if they were able.
If they are not able, they are going to launch some disturbances in Iran so that they occupy or to grab the attention of the Iranian people that they have disturbed all the area which is from Mediterranean Sea until Afghanistan. At this point, they are gaming to disturb the relations between Iran, Syria and their neighbors including the southern part of Russia.
Are they able to do such a thing? I am sure that they will never succeed. Anyhow, as far as we are concerned with the internal situation in Syria, as I told you that it is under the control of the Syrian army, but this, you cannot prevent somebody from here and there just to make an explosion in that street or in that city, mainly, in the borders of the Syrian-Lebanese borders. That is the very difficult gap because they are intervened within each other.