The killing of four Syrian security officials in a Damascus bombing Wednesday dominates Arab-language news and editorials Thursday, most of which express satisfaction with the deaths.
“Syria: Huge bombing kills the regime’s guardians and its prestige,” reads the headline of London-based daily Al-Hayat, which goes on to describe the explosion as the most painful blow to the Assad regime since the start of the popular uprising in Syria in March 2011. The article displays the portraits of the four men killed.
“A blow to Assad’s men,” reads the headline of Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat, which also describes the attack as a “severe blow,” quoting opposition sources that dub the attack “the beginning of the end of the regime.”
London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi‘s headline reads “the ‘Damascus volcano’ hits the heart of the regime: Defense minister, Assef Shawkat and Turkmani are killed.” The daily speculates as to whether the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber or a charge detonated from a distance.
In an editorial titled “The Syrian regime erodes,” Al-Quds Al-Arabi editor-in-chief Abd Al-Bari Atwan claims that the moment of truth is indeed upon the regime, but the outcome is still far from clear.
“Indeed, Syria is witnessing a decisive battle these days… but we do not know in favor of whom it will be decided, and who will prevail at the end – the regime or the revolution. Furthermore, we do not know when this will happen or what the price will be, or what Syria and indeed the entire region will look like afterwards,” writes Atwan.
“Assad is alone!” reads the jubilant headline of an editorial by A-Sharq Al-Awsat editor-in-chief Tareq Homayed, complete with the exclamation mark.
Homayed, like Atwan, raises the possibility that the attack was an “inside job” by Assad to rid himself of internal opposition. But regardless, he adds, the attack is a decisive blow to the dictator, who now remains like a “giant with no arms.”
‘Assad is Alone!’ reads the jubilant headline of an editorial by A-Sharq Al-Awsat editor-in-chief Tareq Homayed
If Assad killed the men, writes Homayed, his days are numbered, because the fact that a coup was being prepared against him demonstrates the disloyalty even within his innermost circles. Contrarily, if the Free Syrian Army perpetrated the attack, Assad’s days are numbered, too, since the attackers managed to penetrate the Syrian leadership so easily.
“Therefore,” concludes Homayed, “it doesn’t matter who did what. We are now witnessing the final chapters of a dictatorial regime which is now receiving blows not at the outer fringes of Syria but at the center of power,” writes Homayed.
Yemen busts Iranian terror cell
Reports that Yemen has exposed an Iranian terror cell that has been active for seven years feature high on Arab news Thursday. Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi demanded that Iran stop intervening in his country’s affairs, A-Sharq Al-Awsat reports. An aide to Yemen’s prime minister tells the daily that the fact that Hadi, who is usually careful with his words, has decided to speak out against Iran proves that the incriminating information against the Islamic country is verified.
Hadi told a crowd at the War Academy in the capital, Sannaa, that Iran wishes to sow civil war within Yemen, Al-Hayat reports.
President Hadi told a crowd at the War Academy in the capital Sannaa that Iran wishes to sow civil war within Yemen, Al-Hayat reports.
Kamel Sharabi, a Yemeni political analyst, tells Dubai-based news channel Al-Arabiya that Iran funded a conference of Yemeni separatists in Beirut last May. It is also supporting southern Yemeni separatist Ali Salem Al-Bidh.
Arab interest in Burgos bombing
The attack on a bus carrying Israeli tourists in the Bulgarian vacation town of Burgos is receiving wide coverage in Arab media.
A-Sharq Al-Awsat leads the story with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s accusation that Iran was responsible for the attack, “promising to retaliate.” The daily displays a photo of Netanyahu with his ex-coalition partner Shaul Mofaz.
Al-Hayat, reporting only three fatalities on Thursday morning (the number has gone up), also opens with Netanyahu’s implication of Iran.
Al-Jazeera, which reports eight victims, adds Ehud Barak’s accusation of Iran-backed Hezbollah to Netanyahu’s assessment.