A series of well-coordinated attacks sent explosions through two government strongholds in Syria, killing at least 78 people. The explosions claimed casualties in the coastal cities of Tartous and Jabla while two more attacks—more than a thousand miles away, in the city of Yemen—struck a military base, killing another 43 recruits and soldiers.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights agency has reported that the casualties might exceed 145 people so far, victims of at least five suicide bombers and two car bombs. Perhaps an additional 200 have been reported wounded in Jableh and Tartous.
These violent attacks are, of course, the very first of their kind in Tartous. ISIS has come forward to claim responsibility for both of the dual attacks.
Tartous governor Safwan Abu Saadah denied the rumors that many refugees have been targeted and shot. As a matter of fact, he also reports that Tartous residents had actually fled to refugee areas in order to protect them from the potential attacks.
Abu Saadah also said, “Two days ago some camps in Tartous province experienced fires because of electrical problems … today’s reports that people burned (these camps) are not true. Nobody would turn against our guests in this way.”
“This demonstrates yet again just how fragile the situation in Syria is. And this one more time underscores the need for new urgent steps to continue the negotiating process,” comments Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, referring to the already escalated need for peace talks in the area.
Accordingly, the Russian Foreign Ministry has denounced the attacks, calling this incident, “another bloody crime committed by terrorists on Syrian soil.” Furthermore, the agency reports that these attacks specifically seek to disrupt the current international efforts to put a stop to all the violence currently plaguing the country. After all, Syria has been at the mercy of a civil war since 2011.
In an official statement, the ministry also said, “We see this as a brazen challenge not only to the government and the Syrian citizens, but also to the credibility of the international community, which clearly expressed its collective stance in favor of inter-Syrian national harmony and peaceful political solution to (the) Syrian conflict.”
In addition, Russian President Vladimir Putin has reinforced the country’s readiness to intervene against “the terrorist threat” in Syria, sending also his condolences to Assad.