Swarm of Suicide-Bombers Kill 100+ In Tartous and Jableh—Russian Navy Base Is In Tartous

Monitor says at least five suicide attacks and two car bombs hit Jableh and Tartous, which until now have escaped worst of conflict

Explosions in the Syrian city of Tartous.
Explosions in the Syrian city of Tartous. Photograph: SANA/Reuters

Bomb blasts have killed more than 100 people in the Syrian coastal cities of Jableh and Tartous, monitors said, in a government-controlled area that hosts Russian forces.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks in the Mediterranean cities, which have up to now escaped the worst of the conflict, saying it was targeting supporters of President Bashar al-Assad.

Scores were wounded in at least five suicide attacks and two car bombs, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said – the first assaults of their kind in Tartous, where government ally Russia maintains a naval facility, and Jableh.

State media confirmed the attacks but gave a lower death toll.

Fighting has increased in other parts of Syria in recent weeks as world powers struggle to revive a threadbare ceasefire in western Syria and after peace talks in Geneva this year broke down.

State media reported that a car bomb and two suicide bombers attacked a petrol station in Tartous. In Jableh, one of the four blasts hit near a hospital, state media and the Observatory reported.

Syria map

Footage broadcast by the state-run Ikhbariya news channel of what it said were scenes of the blasts in Jableh showed several twisted and incinerated cars and minivans. Pictures circulated by pro-Damascus social media users showed dead bodies in the back of pick-up vans and charred body parts on the ground.

The Syrian Observatory said at least 53 people were killed in Jableh, and 48 in Tartous.

The interior ministry said in a statement more than 20 people had been killed, and one state media outlet put the death toll at 45 people.

Bombings in the capital Damascus and western city Homs earlier this year killed scores and were claimed by Isis, which is fighting against government forces and their allies in some areas, and separately against its jihadi rival al-Qaida and other insurgent groups.

Russia, which intervened in the Syrian war in support of Assad last September, operates an air base at Hmeymim in Latakia and a naval facility at Tartous.

Latakia city, which is north of Jableh and capital of the province that is Assad’s heartland, has been targeted on a number of occasions by bombings and insurgent rocket attacks.

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