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Syria News: Suicide Bombers Attack Assad-Strong Cities

Screencap from @IndianExpress Twitter account

In the latest in Syria news, several Assad strongholds were targeted by suicide bombers in horrendous bombings leading to the death of at least 148 people. These horrifying acts represent a major security breach in areas that are considered a sanctuary for the supporters of President Bashar al-Assad.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group have claimed responsibility for the bombings, which targeted places of transit and hospitals among others. Jableh and Tartus, the main focal points of the attacks, are both considered havens for Assad supporters where militant activity has been relatively rare in the past.

The attacks seem to have been targeting the civilians in the area, as even the emergency department of a hospital was bombed. According to Amaq, a news agency that is associated with the militant group, the strikes were conducted to target “groupings of Alawites” which the leading government figures are located.

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Jableh and Tartus also have strong Russian presence with a naval facility in the latter and a Russian-operated air base in the former.

The Russians have a contingent in the Syrian region and have been backing the government by providing troops loyal to Assad with military aid and access to airstrikes for their military operations.

In a country where internal conflicts have displaced thousands of its own people, prompting an international refugee crisis, this is indeed alarming news and shows that even if ISIL’s military campaign is dwindling, it still has the frightening capability of launching attacks 30 miles deep into government controlled areas.

The international community was quick to condemn these attacks.

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