Deadly Bombings by ISIS in Syria play havoc

Deadly Bombings by ISIS in Syria play havoc

BEIRUT, May 23 (APP): Deadly Bombings by ISIS in Syria play havoc


More than 120 people were killed on Monday in two Syrian regime bastions in a spate of bombings claimed by the Islamic State militant group.


Seventy-three people were killed in the city of Jableh and another 48 died in Tartus further south, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.


Seven bombs -- most of them suicide attacks -- hit Jableh and Tartus almost simultaneously on Monday morning.


Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said they were "without a doubt the deadliest attacks" on the two cities since Syria's conflict erupted in March 2011.


IS claimed the attacks via its Amaq news agency, saying militant had attacked "Alawite gatherings" in Tartus and Jableh .


Both cities are strongholds of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad whose family hails from the village of Qardaha, just 25 kilometres (15 miles) east of Jableh .

Their populations are mostly Alawite.



IS is not known to have a presence in Syria's coastal provinces,  where its militant rival and Al-Qaeda's local branch Al-Nusra Front is much more prominent.

But IS is notorious for using deadly sleeper cells to attack its enemies.


Syrian state media also reported the attacks but gave a total of 78 dead, 45 in Jableh and 33 in Tartus .


The attacks began at 9:00 am local time (0600 GMT) in Tartus , where steadfast regime ally Russia has long maintained a naval base.


State television broadcast footage of a bus station hit by one blast in Tartus , showing charred minibuses and others still ablaze.


The Tartus blasts were caused by one car bomb and two suicide bombers , the Observatory and police said.



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