DAMASCUS, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) -- It's been a long while since suicide bombers carried out a planned bombing inside fortified government compounds in Syria, in what was perceived to be due to the military progress on ground, but Saturday's bombing in Syria's Homs gave another message.
Six suicide bombers believed to have been wearing bomb vests infiltrated two intelligence headquarters in Homs city in central Syria on Saturday, three into the military intelligence headquarters, and another three into the state intelligence center in that city.
Using silent weapons, the assailants went on a shooting spree inside the intelligence centers at the early hours Saturday, clashing with the guards and agents inside, before setting off their explosives, killing at least 42 security personnel, including top commanders.
Speaking of commanders, the bombers reached the head of the military intelligence branch in Homs, Colonel Sharaf Hasan Daboul, as well as the chief of the state security branch of Colonel Darwish.
Both were killed, as the bombers detonated their bomb vests near them.
Reports said the officers fought alongside other security officers in the targeted centers against the attackers.
One of the bombers also detonated himself while the wounded from the first bombing were being transported out for treatment.
Observers believe that the size of the bombings, the number of the attackers, and the way they snuck into the headquarters indicate a sophisticated planning by the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, which claimed responsibility for the bombings.
"I think that the bombings is a message that the ultra-radical rebels are still capable of making a breakthrough in their attacks, unlike what was thought to be that they are unable to carry out such a complicated tactic," Ahmad Ashkar, a journalist and analyst, told Xinhua.
He said that the bombings are not the first and may not be the last, but noted that the time and place of the bombings are sensitive.
He said the Nusra action means that foreign intelligence could be behind the attacks, such as those in the Gulf states as some of them known of backing the Nusra. On top of that, such foreign intelligence was said to be the reasons why the Nusra Front changed its name recently to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, or the Front for Conquering the Levant, after claiming it had cut ties with al-Qaida.
Observers said the Nusra was urged to do so, in an attempt to clear its name from any affiliation to the al-Qaida terror network.
Still, the move didn't work out and the group, with all its names, remained recognized by the international community as a terrorist group.
The Nusra is also excluded from any settlement or political solution, and was recently kept out of a ceasefire that went into force in Syria last December.
Ashkar and other analysts said the Nusra is now trying to prove that it still exists and capable, and what nurtured this conviction are the attacks the group unleashed on other rebel groups, which were included in the ceasefire and possibly the political settlement.
The attacks are also considered as a message to the Syrian delegations of the opposition and government who are meeting in Geneva to figure out a solution to the Syrian crisis.
UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura called Saturday's terrorist attack in Homs a "tragic event" and a "spoiler" to the peace process in Geneva.
"It was a tragic event. I'm expecting during the talks unfortunately spoilers. Every time we had talks there were always been spoilers," de Mistura told reporters.
At a press conference following the talks with de Mistura, al-Jaafari said that the two-and-a-half-hours session focused on one point only which is prioritizing fighting terrorism, and the delegation asked de Mistrua to issue a statement condemning the terrorist suicide bombings carried out by Jabhat al-Nusra terror organization and its partners in Homs city.
"I said before the session that what happened today will not go unnoticed, and what happened is a terrorist message for the Geneva talks, a message directed at the special envoy, the UN, the so-called international community, and all participants in the Geneva talks. What happened cast a shadow over Geneva, therefore the terrorist act in Homs isn't just a military terrorist act, but also a political terrorist act," al-Jaafari said.