Yesterday, a massive explosion struck the Sayidda Zaynab district of Damascus, thus killing 8 people.
Sayidda Zaynab represents one of few predominately Shiite suburbs in the largely Sunni city of Damascus.
Today, ISIS took full responsiblity for the attack through its main media outlet, Aamaq News.
The statement above reads: “ISIS fighter exploded a VBIED at a Syrian Army checkpoint in the Sayyida Zaynab area”.
Furthermore, in a different statement the ISIS-linked Aamaq News said the attack killed “48 Assad and Shiite militants”.
According to an al-Masdar military source in Damascus, these figures were grossly exaggerated and seemed to have been grabbed out of thin air.
However, ISIS is present a few kilometers north of Sayidda Zaynab, as they have captured the majority of the Hajar al-Aswad district and the Yarmouk Camp.
Thereby, the Islamic State militant who carried out the car bomb must have evaded SAA checkpoints that surround the ISIS-held districts of Damascus as to strike the predominately Shiite area.
Sayidda Zaynab holds the grave of Zaynab, daughter of Ali and granddaughter of the prophet Muhammad. Thus, the shrine is highly important to Shiite Muslims, with thousands going there yearly for pilgrimage.