Insurgent Attacks in Homs, Syria, Kill at Least 42

Suicide attacks on two security service bases in the heart of Syria's government-held third city of Homs killed 42 people on Saturday, overshadowing peace talks in Geneva, state television and a monitor said.

Friday, two suicide bombings killed at least 65 people in northern Syria, where Turkish and Syrian rebel forces are fighting to wrest Al-Bab from ISIS.

Saturday's attack saw the bombers targeting the headquarters of state security and military intelligence in a spectacular attack which successfully targeted General Hassan Daabul, a top military intelligence official.

RIA Novosti Russian news agency reports 35 casualties 15 of whom dies as a result of the attack that hit the military intelligence headquarter.

Meanwhile, the state TV said that the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front claimed responsibility of the series of the deadly bombings that rocked Homs.

The attack comes as government and opposition delegations join peace talks in Geneva sponsored by the United Nations.

The Islamic State website claimed they included eight Turkish soldiers and 60 rebel fighters.

Syrian UN Ambassador Bashar Jaafari shakes hand with UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura upon his arrival to take part in the second day of a new round of Syria peace talks
Insurgent Attacks in Homs, Syria, Kill at Least 42

The main opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) described its meeting with Mr de Mistura as "positive", without elaborating on a possible path forward.

Homs has been under full government control for almost three years.

Speaking to Al Jazeera in Geneva, Issam al-Reis, spokesperson for the Southern Front branch of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), accused the Assad government of staging the attacks to influence the Geneva talks.

The HNC has said it wants to meet the government face-to-face this time.

In the earlier attack, the first auto bomb struck amid a throng of displaced people who had been waiting for permission to return to their homes in the nearby town of al-Bab.

Despite the setbacks on the ground, the HNC still insists that Assad leave power.

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Labour MP Lucy Powell, who was also on the programme, said she opposed the visit on the basis that it was "premature". Tory lawmaker Edward Leigh said canceling the state visit would be "catastrophic" to the trans-Atlantic relationship.


  • Sonia Alvarado