At least two rocket-propelled grenades have hit a ruling Ba’ath party building in Damascus, residents said, in the first insurgent attack reported inside the Syrian capital since the eight-month uprising began against President Bashar al-Assad.
The attack on Sunday occurred hours after an Arab League deadline for Syria to end its crackdown against protesters passed with no sign of violence abating, and Assad remained defiant in the face of growing international isolation.
“Security police blocked off the square where the Ba’ath’s Damascus branch is located. But I saw smoke rising from the building and fire trucks around it,” said one witness, who declined to be named.
“The attack was just before dawn and the building was mostly empty. It seems to have been intended as a message to the regime,” said the witness.
The Free Syrian Army, comprised of army defectors and based in neighbouring Turkey, claimed responsibility for the attack.