IS Claims Responsibility for Deadly Blasts in Syrian Cities

IS Claims Responsibility for Deadly Blasts in Syrian CitiesIS Claims Responsibility for Deadly Blasts in Syrian Cities

At least 78 people have been killed in a series of bomb attacks on two government strongholds on Syria’s Mediterranean coast, state media said.

A suicide bomber and a car bomb blew up within minutes of each other at a bus station in the port city of Tartous.

A bus station and a hospital were also among the targets of four bombings in Jableh, a town to the north, BBC reported.  A news agency linked to the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group said the militant group was behind the attacks.

Amaq cited an IS source as saying militants had targeted “gatherings of Alawites”, a reference to the Shia sect to which President Bashar al-Assad belongs.

Russia—a key backer of Assad—has a naval base in Tartous and an airbase near Jableh, from where it has conducted airstrikes on IS targets across Syria.

The state news agency, Sana, cited a police source as saying 45 people were killed and many others, most of them women and children, were injured in Jableh.

It reported that two bombs exploded at the main entrance of the town’s bus station. A suicide bomber also blew himself up at the entrance of the emergency department at Jableh National Hospital, it added.

The fourth blast reportedly occurred near the offices of Jableh’s electricity directorate, on the outskirts of the Amara residential district. In Tartous, more than 33 people were killed and 47 injured, Sana said.

A car bomb was detonated at the main gate to the city’s bus station, while a suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest inside the facility, it added.