Al-Qaida No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri
Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri Photo by AP
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Al-Qaida's branch in Iraq carried out two recent terrorist attacks in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and was likely responsible for the bombings in Aleppo on Friday that killed at least 28 people, McClatchy reported, citing U.S. officials.

U.S. intelligence reports were said to show that the Syria bombings were ordered by al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, seemingly verifying Syrian President Bashar Assad's assertions of al-Qaida involvement in the uprising in Syria.

The two Aleppo bombings on Friday were the worst attack to hit the country's commercial hub during the revolt against the 42-year dynastic rule by the family of President Bashar Assad.

No one claimed responsibility for the Aleppo bombings but they took place as Assad's forces grow more ferocious in operations to crush the uprising. Some opposition figures accused the government of manipulating events to discredit them.

On December 23 and January 6, intelligence compounds in Damascus were hit by bomb blasts, killing a total of at least 70 people.

At the United Nations on Friday, Saudi Arabia circulated a draft resolution backing an Arab peace plan for Syria among members of the UN General Assembly, after a similar text was vetoed in the Security Council last week by Russia and China, diplomats said.

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