Hizbullah on Saturday blamed the United States for Friday's twin car bombings in Damascus that killed at least 44 and wounded at least 100, saying Washington was the "mother of terrorism."
“These bombings which resulted in the death and injury of dozens of people, mostly women and children, are the specialty of the United States, the mother of terrorism,” Hizbullah said in a statement.
The terror group accused the U.S. of “specializing in targeting, killing and terrorizing the innocent in order to push them into bowing to the U.S. policy that is seeking to achieve the Zionist interest which the Americans put above any other consideration.”
Hizbullah, which is a major ally of Assad, said the timing of the bombings clearly signaled they were an act of revenge for the U.S. “defeat in Iraq" following the withdrawal of its troops from the warn-torn country.
“This horrific terrorist crime committed by the enemies of humanity in the city of Damascus came one day after the coordinated bombings that targeted Baghdad and other Iraqi cities,” the statement said.
It added, “This signals that the parties that stand to lose from the big defeat inflicted on the United States, which led to the humiliating withdrawal of its troops from Iraq, have begun a cowardly, bloody act of revenge by targeting all forces and states that helped the heroic Iraqi resistance in its Jihad [holy war] to evict the U.S. occupation.”
A cold war has been brewing between Hizbullah and Washington for months, with the terror group denouncing the planting of "CIA spies" in its ranks and the US accusing the group of money laundering and drug running.
Syrian officials have blamed al-Qaeda terrorists for the bombings, whom they say are linked to dissident Syrian Forces leaders who support the Turkish-backed insurgency against Assad's government.
But security analysts say the Syrian Free Army, who has waged a deadly hit-and-run guerilla campaign on forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, doesn't have the necessary infrastructure to stage such attacks in the capital.
"The Free Syrian Army does not appear to possess such (suicide bombing) infrastructure and has denied any responsibility in carrying out such operations," Marwa Daoudy of Oxford's St. Anthony's College told the Chicago Tribune.
Lebanese Future Movement leader and former prime minister Saad Hariri dismissed Hizbullah's claims saying the bombings were the work of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
Hariri told his followers via Twitter, “We are at a loss. Is it the specialty of Al-Qaeda or the specialty of America? Something that is really puzzling. I think that the bombings were the work of the Syrian regime.”
Hariri added he believed the bombs, which detonated close to Syrian government buildings, were a warning for Arab League observers expected Saturday who are tasked with implementing a deal to end Assad's bloody nine-month crackdown.
Assad is “a weak man who kills. This is his end,” Hariri told his followers. Hariri and his March 14 opposition allies have staunchly supported Syrian protesters demanding Assad’s ouster.
Syria must prove compliance with the Arab League plan to end Arab economic sanctions and is painfully aware that such compliance will embolden protesters.
On the face of it the bombings appear to be a humiliating blow to the prestige of the country's pervasive secret police apparatus, especially since security buildings were the targets. But they also fit Assad's narrative that foreign-backed Islamist "terrorists" are behind nine months of unrest reported to have claimed at least 5,000 civilian lives.
Damascus says 2,000 security personnel have also been killed in the unrest.