1986 Damascus bombings

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1986 Damascus bombings
Damascus highlighted within Syria
Location Damascus and nearby towns, Syria
Date March-April 1986 (Local time)
Attack type
Terrorist attack
Weapons car bombs
Deaths 204[1]
Suspected perpetrators
Iraqi agents
Motive Regime destabilization[2]

The 1986 Damascus bombings were a series of terrorist acts perpetrated in Damascus, Syria in 1986, considered to be the deadliest acts of terrorism against civilians since the quelling of the Islamist uprising in Syria in 1982. The bombings appeared to be aimed at destabilizing the Syrian government under Hafez al-Assad with links being between the suspected perpetrators and Iraq.


On 13 March 1986, a truck bomb detonated under a bridge in a Damascus suburb that left 60 people dead and injured 100 more.[3][1][4] A month later, 144 were killed by a series of bombings in five towns across Syria, including Damascus, with buses being a prime target.[5][1]

Alleged perpetrators

Immediately after the Damascus truck bombing, the Syrian government placed the blame on Iraq, citing their desire to destabilize the regime. After the April 1986 bombings claimed the lives of an additional 144 people, a previously unknown group with pro-Iraq sympathies calling themselves the 17 October Group for the Liberation of the Syrian People, claimed responsibility.[6] The BBC reported in 2008 that "pro-Iraqi militants" were "believed" to be responsible for both the April and March bombings.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Middle East | Syrian car bomb attack kills 17". BBC News. 2008-09-27. Retrieved 2014-02-20.
  2. ^ Patrick Seale (11 January 1990). Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East. University of California Press. pp. 473–. ISBN 978-0-520-06976-3.
  3. ^ Terrorism: without special title. Oceana Publications. 1979. p. 121.
  4. ^ Gus Martin (27 February 2004). The New Era of Terrorism: Selected Readings. SAGE. pp. 36–. ISBN 978-0-7619-8873-1.
  5. ^ Noam Chomsky (23 March 2015). Pirates and Emperors, Old and New: International Terrorism in the Real World. Haymarket Books. pp. 257–. ISBN 978-1-60846-442-5.
  6. ^ Europa Publications (2 September 2003). A Political Chronology of the Middle East. Routledge. pp. 219–. ISBN 978-1-135-35673-6.

External links

  • Terrorism Comes to Damascus: Syria Faces its Own Islamist Threat

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