IGOHR Strongly Condemns Deadly Twin Bomb Attacks in Damascus killing 40 Iraqis

IGOHR Strongly Condemns Deadly Twin Bomb Attacks in Damascus killing 40 Iraqis 12 March 2017


The International Gulf Organization for Human Rights (IGOHR) condemns in its strongest terms the double bomb explosions that killed about 40 Iraqi civilians and wounded scores of others in Damacus, Syria.

The incident occurred near the Bab al-Saghir cemetery a prominent religious shrine which attracts visitors from around the region. According to the UK-based rights group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a roadside bomb detonated as a bus transporting mostly Iraqi nationals passed and a suicide bomber blew himself up in the Bab al-Saghir area. Approximately 40 Iraqi pilgrims to the site were killed in the twin bomb attack and over 120 others were injured. No group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the deadly incident is blamed on extremist groups in the north and western parts of the country which the government is struggling to dislodge.

IGOHR strongly denounces these car bomb explosions and deem it terrorist attacks which is a direct violation of international and regional human rights laws which may amount to crime against humanity. The Terrorist Bombings Convention 1997 describes terrorist or suicide bombings as “the unlawful and intentional use of explosives in public places with intention to kill, to injure or to cause extensive destruction to compel a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing some act.” The convention equally urges its member states to take measures to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of such terrorist acts.

The Syrian civil war is in its seventh year and this has plunged the country into violence and several terrorist attacks in recent times. The insurgency of terrorist groups like ISIL, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda and its former affiliate Jabhat Fateh al-Sham has threatened the country’s stability. Numerous suicide car bomb explosions have claimed the lives of innocent civilians. The ongoing armed conflict have claimed the lives of some 300,000 civilians and triggered a mass displacement, with more than 11 million people displaced within and outside the country since March 2011, according to official figures.

Therefore, IGOHR calls on both the Syrian and Iraqi governments to jointly investigate the recent bombings and to hold accountable those responsible for the attacks. IGOHR equally urges Iraqi authorities to step up its security efforts to ensure the security of its citizens from the insurgency of terrorist groups. IGOHR further calls on the UN Security Council to work collaboratively with all parties in the Syrian conflict so as to resume peace talks and to end the violence and human rights violations in the country.