05/24/2016, 09.53
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Damascus accuses Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia over attacks on Latakia stronghold

For the Government yesterday's clashes represent a "serious escalation" and aim to derail peace efforts. Behind the terrorists violence is the hand of "evil regimes" in Riyadh, Ankara and Doha. Strong condemnation by the US and UN. Moscow hopes for the resumption of peace talks.


Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Syrian government is accusing Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia’s governments of being the masterminds of yesterday’s bombing of the coastal cities of Tartous and Jableh, in Latakia province, a Bashar al-Assad stronghold. According to Sana news agency reports, the attacks represent a "serious escalation" and aim to derail peace efforts.

Syrian State media claim the explosions (at least seven), claimed by militants of the Islamic State (IS) killed 78 people; local groups instead speak of more than 145 victims.

So far the coastal area, a stronghold of the Syrian president, had been spared by the violence of the war in Syria which over the course of five years has caused more than 280 thousand people dead and millions displaced.

The main target of the attack was a Russian naval base (Tartous) and air field (Jableh), where fighters engaged in the air raids against the IS and the Front of al-Nusra Front jihadist positions in the country are stationed.

AsiaNews sources also argue that, more than Assad, the attacks are a "message" to Moscow launched by militants, that they are able to strike anywhere. The Kremlin has expressed concern about the attacks and stresses that they make the need for a resumption of negotiations under the aegis of the United Nations even more urgent.

In connection with the attacks, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent some letters of reaching the UN pointing out that the bomb attacks "constitute a serious escalation" caused by "extremists" and "evil regimes in Riyadh, Ankara and Doha." "They are trying to derail the talks [peace] in Geneva - adds the ministerial note - the cessation of hostilities and neogitations for the ceasefire".

The United Nations and the United States firmly condemned the bombings. In a statement the UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon expressed "great concern" about the military escalation not only in Damascus but in different areas of Syria including Daraya, Aleppo, Idlib and Homs. The government in Washington promised greater commitment to the fight against the Islamic State and other jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq.


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