Syria’s war: Blasts hit Tartous, Homs, Hasaka

Published by Al Jazeera
On 5 September 2016 saa 07:02
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At least 40 killed and dozens wounded in five explosions in mostly government-held areas, including Tartous and Homs.

At least 40 people have been killed and dozens wounded in five explosions across mostly government-controlled areas of Syria, according to state media reports.

Monday morning’s blasts hit the coastal city of Tartous, the central city of Homs, the suburbs of the capital Damascus as well as the northeastern city of Hasaka, which is mostly controlled by Kurdish forces but where the government maintains a presence.

The blast in Hasaka was claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

State media said at least 11 people were killed and 45 injured in a double bomb attack just outside Tartous, in the coastal province of the same name, which is a base of President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

"Two terrorist blasts on Arzuna bridge, the first a car bomb and the second a suicide bomber who detonated his explosive belt when people gathered to help the wounded," Syrian state television said.

State media also reported five people killed in Hasaka, in the northeast of the country.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a Britain-based monitor, said the blast hit a checkpoint belonging to the Kurdish Asayesh security forces.

And state media also reported a car bomb at the entrance to the Al-Zahra neighbourhood in Homs, which is controlled by the government.

It said at least two people were killed and four wounded in the bombing, which is the latest in a series of attacks targeting Al-Zahra, where most residents are Alawite, the sect to which President Bashar al-Assad belongs.

State media also reported another bomb attack on a road west of the capital Damascus, but gave no immediate toll in the blast.

That attack targeted a checkpoint and left three people dead, said the SOHR.

Top diplomats from the US and Russia on Monday failed to reach a deal to ease fighting in Syria amid the string of bomb attacks in the country.

As blasts maimed and killed in Syria, a senior State Department official said fresh crisis talks between Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the margins of the G20 summit in China had ended without agreement.

A deal to provide aid to Aleppo’s ravaged civilians and at least partially halt Russian and Syrian bombardments had looked likely on Sunday, before talks collapsed.

US officials accused Russia of backtracking on already agreed issues which Washington refused to revisit, but the talks seemed to have been overtaken by developments on the ground.

Syrian government troops renewed their siege of Aleppo on Sunday, with state media saying they had taken an area south of the city, severing the last opposition-held route into its eastern neighbourhoods.

Once Syria’s economic powerhouse, Aleppo has been ravaged by the war that began with protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s government in March 2011.

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The blasts targeted four government control cities including Homs