According to Syrian state media, 14 people were killed in a bombing attack on a bus carrying military personnel from central Damascus.

According to Sana news agency, two explosives attached to the vehicle burst as the car passed underneath Jisr al-Rais bridge in the morning rush hour.

While Syria has been in conflict for over a decade now, these attacks are becoming increasingly rare in the capital.

Soon after, at least 10 civilians were killed by army shellfire in opposition-held areas of the north-west.

This is where the last bastion of rebel and jihadist groups has been trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad ever since 2011.

At least 350,000 people were killed and half the population fled their homes. There are almost 6 million refugees around the world.

The bombing of Damascus on Wednesday was the most deadly in the city’s history since the suicide attack that killed 31 in March 2017 at the central court building, claimed by Islamic State (IS), was the first such attempt to target the city’s main courthouse.

“I heard an explosion while I was asleep. When I awoke, I saw a bus set on fire. The bus stopped after it struck the sidewalk.” Abu Ahmed, a local fruitseller, explained to AFP. I later heard a second explosion but it was less powerful than the previous one.

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The scene was captured on video, and it showed smoke rising from bus windows.

Sana claimed that the military engineers dismantled a third explosive device which had fallen from the vehicle.

Major General Hussein Jumaa, Damascus Police Commander, called it a “cowardly action”.

While no one group claims to have been behind the attack on the planes, there is suspicion that IS may be responsible for attacking military vehicles east of the country in this year’s attacks.

According to Syria Civil Defence (whose rescue workers are well-known as the White Helmets), four children and one woman were killed in Ariha in Idlib’s north-west province.

Twenty-eight people, including some critically, were also injured when shells hit residential areas and a busy marketplace at the same time as children headed to school. The organization blamed pro-government forces.

We woke up to the sound of bombardment. Bilal Trissi (a father of two who lives in Ariha) said that the children were scared and were screaming. Because of the amount of dust surrounding us, we couldn’t find anything and didn’t know how to get there.

North-western Syria’s violence has been sporadic since the ceasefire in March 2020 was brokered by Russia and Turkey. This came after a government offensive had ended.

Turkey which backs Mr Assad’s opposition and Russia have both sent troops to the area to try to deter a major escalation.


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