As attacks continue, Assad steps out
Syrian President Bashar Assad made a rare public appearance at a Damascus power station on Wednesday as two bombs exploded near the city center, killing one and wounding more than two dozen, the state news agency reported.
Footage of the visit broadcast on state television showed Assad chatting casually with a group of employees, two days after his prime minister narrowly escaped assassination by an explosion and a day after another major bombing in the capital claimed at least 14.
A 10-year-old boy was reportedly killed and 28 people wounded, some seriously, when bombs went off on Khaled Bin Walid street and the nearby Bab Mesalla square. The news agency said the bombs were planted by “terrorists,” a term the government uses to describe rebels fighting to topple the Syrian leader.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Bab Mesalla explosion was near a police station and originated from rocket fire. It said the blast left casualties but did not have figures on dead or wounded. It said that several people, including children, were wounded in the explosion on Khaled Bin Walid street.
Police had sealed off Bab Mesalla, which has restaurants, shops and a main public transportation station linking Damascus with the southern provinces of Daraa and Sweida, the human rights group added.
In the capital's western neighborhood of Mazzeh, two people were killed when a bomb attached to a bicycle went off. On Monday, a bomb exploded as Prime Minister Wael Halqi's convoy drove by in the same neighborhood.
Assad's visit to the Umayyad Electrical Station in the Tishrin Park district occurred on International Workers Day, or May Day. State TV showed the Syrian leader, confident and wearing a dark business suit, addressing the station's staff and later shaking their hands. Similar still images appeared on a page used by the Syrian presidency on the popular social network Facebook.
“They want to scare us, we will not be scared ... They want us to live underground, we will not live underground,” Assad told a group of workers who had gathered around him. “We hope that by this time next year we will have overcome the crisis in our country,” he said.
Meanwhile, most Americans do not want to intervene in Syria's civil war, although the percentage in favor more than doubles if Assad's forces use chemical weapons against their people, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.
Only 10 percent of those surveyed in the online poll said the United States should intervene in the fighting. Sixty-one percent opposed getting involved.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Mexico seizes El Chapo’s planes, cars, houses
- France, Russia iron out alliance against Islamic State
- Year’s worth of rain floods Qatar
- China to reorganize military under joint command
- Slaying in Venezuela spurs fears of political violence
- South African judge OKs local trade in rhino horns
- Russia vows to punish Turks financially
- Noncombat deadly for military civilians working in Afghanistan
- News story reunites missing ‘McRefugee’ woman with son
- Mali hotel attack aimed at peace talks, say separatists
- Liberia has 1st Ebola death since being deemed free of disease in September