At least 120 people are reported killed in a series of Islamic State bomb attacks in the Syrian coastal cities of Jableh and Tartous, strongholds of President Assad. Mana Rabiee reports.
Until now, the Mediterranean cities of Jableh and Tartous had escaped the worst of the Syrian conflict. But that ended on Monday with a series of suicide attacks and car bombs that killed at least 120 people and left scores more wounded. The cities are strongholds of President Bashar al Assad. Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they were targeting members of Assad's Alawite minority -- in this, a government-controlled area that also hosts Russian naval forces assisting Assad. It's the first assault of its kind on either town -- in over five years of protracted fighting between government forces, rebels and Islamist insurgents. Fighting has increased in other parts of Syria too -- as world powers struggle to resurrect peace talks and revive a threadbare ceasefire that has all but collapsed.