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ISIS claims deadly Syria, Yemen bombings

May 24, 2016 2:54 AM
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Attack at military base leaves at least 43 dead

An attack on a hospital was one of a series of strikes that tore through two Syrian government strongholds Monday in the coastal cities of Tartous and Jabla, killing dozens, state media and the World Health Organization said.

More than a thousand miles away in Yemen, dual attacks -- including one that struck at a military base -- left at least 43 recruits and soldiers dead, according to local security officials.

The World Health Organization condemned the bombing at the Jabla National Hospital in Latakia province.

The bombing killed more than 40 people -- including patients, family members, a doctor and two nurses. The agency said two added blasts reported in public areas in Jabla caused 120 deaths and 300 injuries.

"Due to the damage, the hospital is currently not functional and patients have been transferred to neighboring hospitals," WHO said.

WHO said there have been at least 17 attacks on health care facilities across Syria this year and nearly 60% of public hospitals "have closed or are only partially functional."

"The attack on the hospital violates international humanitarian law. It is unacceptable that such attacks on health are increasing in both frequency and scale," WHO said. "The bombing represents a serious setback for the affected community and an additional challenge to humanitarian work in Syria."

In Syria, three explosions struck a bus station in Tartous, and four hit residential areas of Jabla, according to Syria's state-run Syrian Arab News Agency.

The news agency said 78 people died and the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 101.

Tartous is one of the main destinations for Syrian soldiers on leave from combat and is the site of a large military garrison. It also hosts thousands of people who have fled fighting in other parts of the country.

Jabla is a stronghold of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has provided many officers and troops to the army.

The Russian Foreign Ministry denounced what it called "another bloody crime committed by terrorists on Syrian soil" and said the attacks seek to disrupt international efforts to end the violence in the country, which has been in a civil war since 2011. Russia is a strong ally of Assad's.

"We see this as a brazen challenge not only to the government and the Syrian citizens, but also to the credibility of the international community, which clearly expressed its collective stance in favor of inter-Syrian national harmony and peaceful political solution to (the) Syrian conflict," a ministry statement said.

Both explosions in Yemen occurred in Aden: one at Al-Badr military base and the second in the city's Khormaksar district.

One bomber targeted a recruitment center near the military base, while a second blew himself up amid a group of soldiers in downtown Aden, according to the ISIS claim of responsibility circulated online.

At least 43 recruits and troops died in the attacks, security officials said. Dozens more were wounded, including 12 in critical condition, according to security officials.

The bombings follow a series of ISIS attacks in southern Yemen that have killed more than 100 people in two weeks, mainly in the Aden and Hadramout provinces.

Aden has had eight terror attacks this month. The city is home to the Yemeni government as it fights Shiite Houthi rebels who control the capital of Sanaa.

Copyright 2016 Cable News Network/Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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