6 Sep 2016

IS claims wave of deadly Syria bombings

12:33 pm on 6 September 2016

At least 40 people have been killed in bombings in mainly government-held areas of Syria, state media report.

The bomb in Homs targetted a military checkpoint, the governor said. 5 Sept 2016

The bomb in Homs targetted a military checkpoint, the governor said. Photo: AFP / HO / SANA

Four attacks took place within an hour in Tartous, Homs and in a suburb of Damascus, with one in Hassakeh, which is dominated by Kurdish forces.

Islamic State (IS) said it was behind the attacks.

The deadliest incident was outside Tartous, home to a Russian naval base and in the heartland of President Bashar al-Assad's Alawite sect.

Syria's official Sana news agency reported that 30 civilians had been killed and 45 others injured in the Tartous countryside.

A car bomb was detonated on a motorway bridge, and as a crowd gathered at the scene to help the wounded a suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt, a police source told Sana.

In the central city of Homs, four people were killed and 10 injured when a car bomb exploded at the entrance to the Bab Tadmour district, Sana reported.

The governor of Homs province said the car bomb targeted a military checkpoint and that the casualties were soldiers.

One person was killed in a bombing in a heavily-guarded western suburb of Damascus. Opposition activist Yousef al-Boustani said the area was home to security officers and their families and that the attack represented a major security breach.

In Hassakeh, an explosives-packed motorcycle was blown up at the Marsho roundabout, killing five civilians and injuring two others, Sana said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based group that monitors the conflict in Syria, put the total death toll for Monday's attacks at 47.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, at left, and US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 summit in China.September 5, 2016.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, at left, and US President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 summit in China. Photo: AFP

The attacks came as US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin discussed a ceasefire deal for Syria on the sidelines of the G20 summit in China.

Mr Obama said he and Mr Putin had had "productive" discussions and had agreed to continue the search for a comprehensive truce.

The US president said: "Given the gaps of trust that exist, that's a tough negotiation and we haven't yet closed the gaps in a way where we think it would actually work.

"But my instructions to Secretary [of State John] Kerry and Mr Putin's instructions to [Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov were to keep working at it over the next several days."

Mr Putin said the talks were "on the right track" and that there was "some alignment" with the US.

It had been hoped a deal on a ceasefire and humanitarian deliveries would be announced jointly by Mr Kerry and Mr Lavrov on Monday, but it was not forthcoming.

The US is particularly concerned by the deteriorating conditions in and around Syria's second city, Aleppo, where rebel-held districts are once again under siege after government forces advanced on Sunday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also at the G20, said he had urged world powers to create a "safe zone" in Syria, with a "no-fly" element, that would help control the flow of migrants.

- BBC

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