Paris, Beirut and Baghdad: ISIS appetite for global destruction

Bourj el-Barajneh camp

Read full story at Al Arabiya

The busy hum of Parisian nightlife was tragically shattered on Friday evening as gunshots and explosions pierced the cool evening. In a number of coordinated, simultaneous attacks on the French capital — the worst since World War II — 129 people were killed. ISIS quickly claimed the attacks who, over the last 16 days have carried out two other deadly international attacks, which some warn could be the start of a new deadly international phase for the militant group.

As well as the attack on Paris, early on Friday, an ISIS militant blew himself up at the funeral of a pro-government Shiite fighter in Baghdad, killing at least 18 people and wounding 41. The group also claimed responsibility for downing the Russian passenger jet over the Sinai peninsula on October 31, and just the day before the Paris attack, the group claimed the most deadly bombing in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, since the start of the Syrian civil war.

As dusk was gathering in Beirut’s Shiite majority area of the diverse southern suburb of Burj al Berajneh on Thursday evening, two explosions tore through the busy street. “I was one of the first people to arrive [at the site of the blast], people were carrying the wounded and dead,” explains local resident Hussain at the site of the explosion.

Hussein says the powerful second explosion – meters further along the street than the first – had torn through the crowd gathering after the first blast. “There were tons of people here, it was terrifying,” he recalls. The two blasts in Beirut killed at least 46 people and left more than 239 wounded.

Since the start of Syria’s civil war there have been a number of bombings in Lebanon. Many of these have targeted strong Hezbollah supporting areas — the powerful Shiite Lebanese paramilitary organisation — in retaliation for the group’s support of the embattled Syrian president.

However, Thursday’s was the first explosion in the capital since June 2014. Residents of Beirut are now concerned about a return to the situation previous insecurity which saw eight bombs explode in 12 weeks at the end of 2013.

In Abu Ali’s falafel shop, located one street from the blast site, customers discussed the bombers and their intended targets. “There were no (Hezbollah) fighters killed,” Abu Ali says, shaking his head. “It was all women and children.”…[Continue reading at Al Arabiya]


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Tags: Al Arabiya, Bagdad, Beirut, Bomb, Burj al Berajneh, France attack, freelance, Living in Lebanon, Paris, Security, and terrorisms.