2017 Aleppo suicide car bombing

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2017 Aleppo suicide car bombing
Part of the Syrian Civil War
Aleppo in Syria (+Golan).svg
Location Rashideen District, western Aleppo, Syria
Coordinates 36°10′10″N 37°03′24″E / 36.16944°N 37.05667°E / 36.16944; 37.05667Coordinates: 36°10′10″N 37°03′24″E / 36.16944°N 37.05667°E / 36.16944; 37.05667
Date 15 April 2017
Weapons Car bomb
Deaths 126+[1]
Non-fatal injuries
55+
Perpetrator Unknown

On 15 April 2017, a car bomb detonated near a convoy of buses in the al-Rashideen neighbourhood of western Aleppo, Syria.[2] The buses carried civilian evacuees from the besieged government-controlled towns of al-Fu'ah and Kafriya and were guarded by rebel fighters.[3] The bombing killed at least 126 people[4] including at least 80 children.[5]

The bus evacuation was part of an agreement brokered by the Syrian government, Iran, and Qatar, and implemented by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.[6] Under the terms of the evacuation deal, residents of the Shia communities of al-Fu'ah and Kafriya, which supported the Syrian government[7] and were surrounded by the Army of Conquest,[clarification needed] would be transported to Aleppo.[6] In return, residents of Madaya and Al-Zabadani, which are Sunni-majority supporting the opposition, would be transported to the Idlib province.[6]

Bombing[edit]

Children holding placards with inscriptions "We want bread and security", "UNICEF where is children's rights?", "save al-Fu'ah and Kafriya from certain death"

The attack took place in the Rashideen district, in the western outskirts of the city of Aleppo, at about 15:30 local time.[8] According to journalists, the bomb was in a car that parked and began distributing food near the front of a convoy of buses that were stopped at a checkpoint to move injured refugees.[8][9]

Early reports indicated that a few dozen people had been killed,[10] but the confirmed death toll rose to 126 by the following day, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.[8] The Observatory said that 109 of the dead were refugees, including 68 children, with the remainder rebel fighters and aid workers,[8] though a spokesman for the Ahrar al-Sham rebel group said that about 30 of its members were killed.[11] According to the White Helmets civil defense group, 55 people were injured.[12]

The bombing led to the suspension of evacuations for several days; they resumed on 19 April with tight security at the Rashideen checkpoint.[13] Three days after the bombing, a United Nations spokesperson said that the bombing was "likely a war crime" and a person of interest seen in footage prior to the bombing is being investigated.[14]

Perpetrator[edit]

The perpetrator's identity is unknown. According to Syrian state television, the civilians of Fuaa and Kafriya supported the government during the rebel siege of the towns, and the rebels were responsible for the bombing.[15] Ahrar al-Sham denied responsibility,[16] and members of the opposition suggested that the Assad government might have been behind the attack as a way of diverting attention from the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack.[15] Rami Abdulrahman, the head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), stated in a televised interview that he believed the bombing was not done by the Syrian government.[17]

Reactions[edit]

  •  United NationsSecretary-General António Guterres requested that all parties guarantee the security of those waiting to be evacuated and added that "Those responsible for today’s attack must be brought to justice".[18]
  •   The Holy SeePope Francis condemned the bombing during his Easter Sunday address, calling it a "vile attack on fleeing refugees".[8]
  •  Iran - Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassem condemned the attack and slammed "those who claim to be supporters of the Syrian nation but refrain from commenting on such actions." He further argued that dividing the rebels into good and bad only emboldens the terrorists.[19]
  •  Turkey - The Turkish Foreign Ministry said that the attack "has shown once again the necessity to strengthen the ceasefire agreement".[20]

Criticism of Western governments[edit]

Robert Fisk, writing for the Independent, criticized Western governments for a double standard regarding the attack, contrasting their silence on the bombing with their reaction to the Khan Shaykhun chemical attack earlier in the month; he said that "after this weekend's suicide bombing [...] the White House said nothing [...] because–and here's the point–they were the victims of the wrong kind of killer."[21] In an interview with the Iranian Tasnim News Agency, Syrian Ambassador to Tehran Adnan Hassan Mahmoud said the US and the West’s inaction to the bloody terrorist attack signifies "their fake concern for the security and lives of Syrian people."[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Syria evacuees bomb attack death toll rises to 112: monitor". AFP. 16 April 2017. 
  2. ^ "Dozens killed after bomb explodes near Aleppo evacuation bus convoy". CBC News. 15 April 2017. 
  3. ^ "Syria war: Huge bomb kills dozens of evacuees in Syria". BBC News. 15 April 2017. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  4. ^ "Death toll from Aleppo bus convoy bomb attack at least 126: Observatory". Reuters. 2017-04-16. Retrieved 2017-04-16. 
  5. ^ "'A new horror': 80 children among those slaughtered in suicide attack on refugee convoy". ABC News. 2017-04-17. Retrieved 2017-04-18. 
  6. ^ a b c "More Than 7,000 People Evacuated From 4 Besieged Syrian Towns". The New York Times. 14 April 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017. 
  7. ^ al-Kurdi, Anas. "Syrian regime forces 'lost stomach to retake Idlib'". alaraby.co.uk. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "Syria war: 'At least 68 children among 126 killed' in bus bombing". BBC News Online. 16 April 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017. 
  9. ^ "Aleppo blast: Syrian evacuation convoy targeted". Al-Jazeera. 16 April 2017. Retrieved 16 April 2017. 
  10. ^ "Dozens Killed as Blast Strikes Convoy Carrying Evacuated Syrians". The New York Times. 15 April 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  11. ^ El Deeb, Sarah; Issa, Philip. "Over 100 killed during Syria's troubled population transfer". stltoday. 
  12. ^ "Syria: 126 killed as bomb hits buses with evacuees, group says". CNN. 16 April 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  13. ^ "Syria war: Evacuations resume after deadly bombing". BBC News Online. 19 April 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2017. 
  14. ^ "Recent attack on evacuated civilians in Syria 'likely a war crime,' says UN rights office". un.org. 18 April 2017. Retrieved 22 April 2017. 
  15. ^ a b Sanchez, Raf. "Dozens killed as suicide bomber hits convoy of civilians evacuating besieged Syrian towns". Telegraph. Retrieved 15 April 2017. 
  16. ^ "Syria evacuations resume after weekend car bomb kills more than 100". France24. 19 April 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2017. 
  17. ^ "Syria: 126 killed as bomb hits buses with evacuees, group says". CNN. 16 April 2017. Abdul Rahman said he doesn't believe the Syrian regime is behind the attack. 
  18. ^ Graham-Harrison, Emma; Damien Gayle, Damien. "Deadly Aleppo suicide attack kills 100 in evacuation operation". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 April 2017. 
  19. ^ "PressTV-Iran slams deadly bus attack in Syria". Retrieved 2017-04-17. 
  20. ^ "Turkey condemns deadly attack near Syria's Aleppo". Daily Sabah. 17 April 2017. Retrieved 17 April 2017. 
  21. ^ "If Trump cares so much about Syrian babies, why is he not condemning the rebels who slaughtered children?". The Independent. 2017-04-17. Retrieved 2017-04-18. 
  22. ^ "Tasnim News Agency - Aleppo Bus Convoy Attack Aimed at Disrupting Reconciliation Process: Syrian Envoy". Tasnim News Agency. Retrieved 2017-04-19.