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ISIS Has Killed Scores In Deadly Attacks In Assad’s Heartland

Multiple blasts rocked several government strongholds in the normally quiet coastal cities of Tartus and Jableh in Syria.

Posted on May 23, 2016, at 8:12 a.m. ET

Suicide bombers have detonated explosions in several pro-government cities in Syria, killing scores and wounding hundreds more.

The blasts were the first to target civilians in the usually quiet cities of Tartus and Jableh since the start of the civil war.
Sana News / Reuters

The blasts were the first to target civilians in the usually quiet cities of Tartus and Jableh since the start of the civil war.

ISIS militants were responsible for the attacks, a news agency linked to the extremist group reported.

In Tartus, local media reported that a suicide bomber on foot and a car laden with explosives detonated at a crowded bus station.
Sana Sana / Reuters

In Tartus, local media reported that a suicide bomber on foot and a car laden with explosives detonated at a crowded bus station.

In Jableh, local media reported that bombings took place in a residential neighborhood on the outskirts of the city, near an electrical plant, and outside Jableh National Hospital.

Stringer / AFP / Getty Images

The exact number of explosions and people killed have not been confirmed but the Associated Press says at least 80 people have died.

Stringer / AFP / Getty Images
Stringer / AFP / Getty Images

The London-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights reported the death toll as 121 and said seven explosions had occurred simultaneously, four in Jableh and three in Tartus.

BBC reporter Riam Dalati posted a video on Twitter that purported to show the scene following the bombing at Jableh National Hospital.

First footage from #Jableh national hospital shows aftermath of suicide bombing, proves earlier claims

The attacks mark a violent change in the normally quiet and pro-Assad cities.

Assad-ally Russia has a naval base in Tartus and an airbase in nearby Latakia province.
Stringer / AFP / Getty Images

Assad-ally Russia has a naval base in Tartus and an airbase in nearby Latakia province.

Speaking after the bombings on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson said the new development "once again demonstrates how fragile the situation in Syria is."

Dmitry Peskov said the situation "demonstrates the need to continue vigorous steps to continue the negotiation process."

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