Desperate dictators will take desperate measures. But did Syria's President Assad go so far as to send a suicide bomber into an eastern Damascus suburb and kill 26 innocents? The opposition thinks so.
The opposition has casted doubts on the reports regarding the attack. The al-Arabiya channel televised photos of a Syrian news correspondent scattering bags near the site of the attack. The correspondent claimed later that the bags belonged to the victims of the bombing.
According to the opposition, eyewitnesses in the Maidan neighborhood reported that tens of ambulances were in the area approximately three hours prior to the initial reports of the bombing. They added that state-run news crews began their on-site coverage of the attack almost immediately after it occurred.
Furthermore, opposition sources said that some of the photos distributed yesterday were from an attack that occurred two weeks ago in Damascus, on the day of the Arab League observer mission's arrival in the country.
The opposition believes that the government's claim that they are responsible for the attack is dubious, and an attempt of the regime to stifle dissent within Maidan. Moreover, they claim that while the Syrian government claimed that most of the wounded were civilians, the attack struck a bus that was carrying security forces that were on their way to suppress anti-government protests that were planned for Friday afternoon.
The opposition appears to want it both ways. They claim Assad is responsible while denying that civilians were the target.
That said, we shouldn't put it past Assad to kill his own people to save his hide. But in this case, the use of a suicide bomber would seem to indicate that Islamists were responsible - and that should be of concern to both Assad and the opposition.