ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Iraq’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday revealed 40 Iraqis were killed in explosions targeting the Syrian capital of Damascus.
Two bombs struck the neighborhood of Bab al-Masalla in Damascus, killing at least 44 people and wounding 140 others.
In a statement, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said 40 Iraqis who were going to pray at a nearby shrine were killed in the Damascus blasts, and 120 others wounded, Reuters reported.
The explosions targeted a bus station where the Shia pilgrims, mostly Iraqis, gathered to visit the Bab al-Saghir cemetery in Damascus.
“The second blast went off some 10 minutes after the first, inflicting casualties on civil defense workers who had gathered to tend to the [victims],” Reuters stated.
No side has claimed responsibility for the violence yet.
However, Islamic State (IS) extremists had previously launched attacks on Shia pilgrims in both Iraq and Syria.
Since the start of the civil war in Syria, Iraqi Shia militia group Harakat al-Nujaba has been supporting the Syrian regime forces in the fight against rebel and extremist groups,
On March 8, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi confirmed his forces would continue to strike IS militants in Syria.
“I will not hesitate to strike the positions of [insurgents] in the neighboring countries, we will keep on fighting them,” the PM stated.
“We are determined to follow the terrorism that is trying to kill our sons and our citizens everywhere,” he added.
On Feb. 24, Abadi announced the first air strike in Syrian territory by Iraqi forces.
The air strike was conducted in response to several IS bomb attacks in Baghdad, according to the Iraqi PM.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany