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String of Bombings Hit across Syria, Scores Killed and Injured | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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People inspect the site of a double bomb attack in the regime-controlled city of Homs, Syria, in this handout picture provided by SANA on January 26, 2016. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters

A string of bomb attacks hit across mostly regime-controlled areas of Syria Monday, killing several dozen people including at least 30 in Syrian regime head Bashar al-Assad’s coastal stronghold of Tartus, state media said.

At least 43 people died in the blasts, and 45 were also wounded in the double bombing outside of Tartus city, which is home to a Russian naval base.

Other attacks hit regime-held Homs city, an army checkpoint on a road outside Damascus, and a Kurdish security forces checkpoint in Hassaka city.

In Tartus, two blasts targeted the 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,” according to state television.

Tartus has been largely spared the worst violence of Syria’s conflict since it began with anti-regime protests in March 2011.

It has become a refuge for many Syrians fleeing the fighting that has displaced over half the country’s population.

In the northeast of the country, at least eight people were killed by a bomber on a bike in the city of Hasaka, which is mostly controlled by Kurdish forces, though the regime is also present.

Syrian state media said the dead were six members of the Asayesh security forces and two civilians.

ISIS claimed the suicide bombing, the ISIS affiliated-Amaq news agency said.

Amaq said a suicide bomb in the Masakin neighborhood of Hasaka killed one and wounded 15 members of Kurdish security forces.

Hasaka city has been regularly targeted by the terrorist organization, including in July, when a motorcycle bomber killed at least 16 people outside a bakery in the city.

Monday’s bombings came after advances by Turkish forces and allied Syrian rebels expelled ISIS from the last stretch of the Syrian-Turkish border under their control.

The jihadist group has been losing ground to both an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces and, more recently, a Turkish offensive involving rebels loyal to Ankara.

In central Homs city, state media said at least four people were killed in a car bomb at the entrance to the Al-Zahraa neighborhood, whose residents mostly belong to the same Alawite sect as Assad.

Al-Zahraa has also been regularly targeted in bomb attacks, including a devastating double bomb blast in February that killed 57 people and was claimed by ISIS.

Another bomb attack was also reported on the Al-Sabura road west of the capital Damascus, with state media saying one person had been killed and three injured in that bombing.

The Observatory said that attack targeted a checkpoint and gave a toll of three dead.

Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said the dead in both the Homs and Al-Sabura road attacks were regime security forces manning checkpoints.