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Carnage in Syria: A String of Suicide Bombings Hits Govt-Held Areas

  • Dozens dead in six seperate sucide attacks -- ISIS has claimed responsibility
  • Homs in the center, Damascus in the South, Tartus in the west and Hasakah in the north were all hit

Dozens of people have been killed in an apparently coordinated string of bombings across government-held cities in Syria, as battles that have drawn in regional and international powers rage throughout an embattled country carved into competing spheres of influence.

Syrian state media said at least 40 people had died in six suicide bombings in the city of Homs in central Syria, the suburbs of Damascus, the suburbs of the coastal city of Tartus, and the Kurdish-controlled Hasakah city. Dozens more have been wounded.

Police in Tartus said a car bomb detonated on the main road leading into the city, and a second suicide bomber killed several who had gathered in the aftermath, killing 30 people and wounding 45. Two other bombings near Damascus killed one person and injured three, while a car bomb in Homs city killed four people and injured 10.

In Hasakah, which is controlled predominantly by Kurdish paramilitaries known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG), five people were killed in the city centre after a motorbike laden with explosives was detonated. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack on its news agency Amaq.

Tartus has remained loyal to the government of Bashar al-Assad throughout five years of civil war and has been largely spared the destruction wrought on other parts of the country, emerging as a relative haven for refugees who wished to remain in Syria. The area is also home to Russian naval and air force facilities, with Moscow directing its aerial campaign in Syria from there.

In May, Tartus and neighbouring Jableh city was hit by a string of suicide bombings orchestrated by Isis, in which 184 people were killed and more than 200 wounded.

The latest bombings came amid multiple battlefield defeats by Isis and other significant developments over the weekend that have added another layer of complexity and suffering to a war that has claimed nearly half a million lives and displaced half the population.

Source: The Guardian
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