Syria says Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey behind deadly blasts

Syria says Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey behind deadly blasts
Damascus blames the Syrian opposition's regional backers for trying to derail the peace process with bombs that killed 150 in Assad's coastal strongholds on Monday.
2 min read
24 May, 2016
Syria's Mediterranean coast was rocked by seven deadly bombings on Monday [AFP]
Syria has said that Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar were behind multiple explosions in the coastal cities of Tartous and Jableh which claimed nearly 150 lives and injured at least 200 on Monday.

Syria's SANA news agency said on Tuesday that the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry had written to the UN Secretary-General and the head of the Security Council regarding the bombings, placing the blame at the door of the Syrian opposition's regional backers.

"The ministry asserted that these terrorist bombings constitute a serious escalation by the extremist and malicious regimes of Riyadh, Ankara, and Doha, and that they seek to undermine the efforts that aim at stopping the shedding of Syrian blood," the state-run SANA reported.

"They also seek to derail the Geneva talks and the cessation of hostilities and truce arrangements, as well as turning attention away from the Syrian Arab Army's achievements in the war against terrorism."

The ministry also said that the group directly responsible for the attacks was Ahrar al-Sham, despite widespread reports that the IS group had claimed responsibility.

Monday's blasts were the most violent to hit the mostly pro-regime cities in the five-year conflict. The regime's coastal bastions have so far been spared the worst of the fighting.

Syria's Mediterranean coast [TNA]
The first blast took place in the Jableh bus terminal, local sources told The New Arab.

The blast was followed by explosions at the Electricity Department and a local government hospital, some possibly the result of reported rocket fire.

At least two of the blasts were suicide bombs, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, putting the total number of explosions at seven.

There were four in Jableh, in Latakia province, and three in the Tartous province's capital.

In a message posted later on its Amaq outlet, the Islamic State group said it was behind the attack on "Alawite concentrations" in the Syrian coast, in reference to the community of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

IS has in the past claimed responsibility for similar attacks targeting regime-held areas of Homs city, in central Syria.