Middle East: IS Claims Deadly Blasts in Syria, At Least 78 Died


Time: 12:57 p.m. CEST

Monday was another violent day in the Middle East with bombings in Syria and Yemen. As the Associated Press reports the Iraqi government commence an offensive to retake the city of Fallujah from the Islamic State militants. The AP says, “A news agency linked with the Islamic State group says the group’s militants were behind the attacks on civilian gatherings in two Syrian coastal cities.”

Syrian Arab state news agency SANA reported at least 78 people died and many are injured in a series of the explosions in Tartus and Jableh, which both represent Assad’s government strongholds and house Russian military bases. Insurgents maintain a presence in rural Latakia. The explosions happen in the bus stations in the two cities and outside a hospital and the electricity company in Jableh, the AP says. Aamaq news agency linked to Islamic State group gave no details. Syria’s state TV also reported “at least one suicide bomber followed by a car bomb blow up at the bus station in Tartus.” Ministry of Interior confirmed 20 people died in the attack, as stated by the TV channel.

In Yemen, security official said, “a pair of suicide bombers killed at least 45 people in the southern city of Aden.” Two bombs, the AP reports, targeted young men who wanted to join the army. “One suicide car bomber targeted a line outside an army recruitment center, killing at least 20. A second bomber on foot detonated his explosive vest among a group of recruits waiting outside the home of an army commander, killing at least 25,” the AP says.

Shiite rebels control Yemen’s capital Saana, allied with a former president. Expelled Yemen’s government is internationally recognized, while the country has an active al-Qaida and Islamic State group.

Iraqi government force have pushed Islamic State group from part of the agricultural areas outside the city of Fallujah, the AP says. Supported by the U.S.-led coalition, Iraqi government began a military offensive on Fallujah late on Sunday, the AP reports.

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