Bomb Blast at Hotel Hosting UN Observers
A huge bomb exploded Sunday morning at a Damascus hotel often used by United Nations observers, state media reported.
Several people were wounded in the explosions at the Dama Rose hotel, and it is not known the extent of their injuries or if there were deaths. No one has taken responsibility for the bombing, which could have been carried out by opposition forces but also could have been ordered by the Assad regime, with the intent to blame rebels.
Syrian President Bashar Assad continues to wage war against civilians and opposition fighters in what has evolved into a humanitarian disaster that the international community so far is watching from a distance. China and Russia have blocked United Nations Security Council initiatives by the United States to slap tighter sanctions on the government, and the Obama administration is taking a “hands off” position with only two days remaining before the presidential elections.
Syrian warplanes attacked opposition forces in Damascus in pre-dawn attacks Sunday near a security building.
Saturday’s death toll across the country was staggering, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which estimates that at least 36,000 people have died in the 19-month-old uprising against Assad.
On Saturday, rebels launched an offensive on a strategic air base in northern Syria, but state media said the army repulsed the attack. The official ban on foreign media continues to cloud accuracy of claims on both sides.
Meanwhile, hundreds of opposition leaders are meeting this week in an effort to create a united front for the first time.