Last week, a bus exploded in Damascus, killing at least three people and wounding several more. The number varies with each report, but CNN, Al-Jazeera, and the BBC all confirm the following two things: firstly, that the explosion occurred near Sayeda Zeinab, a Shi’a pilgrimage site often frequented by Iranian pilgrims. And secondly, the official explanation of the event was a “tyre explosion”. Perhaps the best quote, by a representative of the Syrian government, whose stance that “there is absolutely no terrorist activity” in Syria, was that he thinks “…they pumped too much air into the tires.”
When asked how a tire could cause that size of explosion, he replied, “It’s a big bus and it has big tyres. It could happen.”
I’m not saying that it couldn’t have been an accident, in all likelihood it is – but the mere fact that the Syrian government will provide something so incredulous to placate themselves and resist dealing with a significant problem – whether that be traffic safety or Sunni-Shi’a relations or terrorism – is shocking. I, however, am clearly fine.