At least 48 people are believed to have died in a series of bombings across war-torn Syria, claimed by ISIS. Though the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the total at 53.
The attacks took place in Tartous, Damascus, Homs, and Hasakah, and all occurred during the morning rush-hour.
The deadliest of the attacks occurred at a checkpoint in Tartous, where a second and third suicide bomber targeted the crowds, security and emergency services responding to the first blast.
At least 35 are said to have been killed and over 40 wounded.
Tartous had seen little of such attacks until the bombings in May by ISIS in both Tartous and Jableh, that left 148 dead and injured 200.
In Damascus, a suicide car bomber and a suicide bomber on foot killed at least one officer and injured 3 civilians as the bombers breached a heavily guarded area, where families are housed at a military checkpoint.
Another military checkpoint was targeted in Homs. Three soldiers and a civilians were killed and 10 people were wounded as a car bomb detonated.
A Kurdish checkpoint was targeted in Hasakah a suicide bomber on a motorcycle detonated his explosives killing 8. The Observatory said the blast killed 5 Kurdish police and three civilians.
Another bomb was detonated in Qamishli, where in late July a truck bomb killed and injured over 200, but no casualties have been reported from yesterday’s blast.
Over the last five years, AOAV’s Explosive Violence Monitor has found Syria to be consistently one of the worst affected states from explosive violence around the world. A total of 36,224 deaths and injuries from explosive violence were recorded there between 2011-2015 – of these 86% (31,290) were civilians. Indeed, the only country worse affected from explosive violence in the last five years was Iraq.
Though, it is state actors that have been responsible for most civilian deaths and injuries in Syria caused by explosive violence, non-state violence too has been a constant threat to the lives of Syrian civilians. In 2015, AOAV’s Explosive Violence Monitor found that non-state actors were responsible for at least 3,218 civilian deaths and injuries; 37% of all civilian deaths and injuries recorded in Syria last year. Of these, ISIS was accountable for 794.
The 40 Improvised Explosive Device (IED) incidents recorded last year caused 1,285 civilian deaths and injuries – an average of 32 deaths and injuries per attack.
However, the explosive violence perpetrated in Syria by ISIS in the first half of this year has already increased. 1,199 civilian deaths and injuries were caused by explosive violence perpetrated by ISIS in the first half of 2016. 1,167 were caused by 14 IED attacks. The attacks this year also demonstrate an increased lethality, with an average of 83 civilian deaths and injuries per incident.
It is evident that IEDs, especially suicide bombings, are extremely lethal and are seeing wider and wider use. AOAV’s Explosive Violence Monitor 2015 found that of all IED attacks, the ones that posed the most danger were suicide attacks.
AOAV condemns the use of violence against civilians and calls upon all groups to reject the deliberate targeting of civilians. States must urgently address the threat of suicide bombings and other forms of IED attacks. Reports by AOAV show the increasing use and harm of suicide bombings around the world. It is a growing reality that highlights the need for urgent preventative measures that States should establish – such as stockpile controls – to limit groups’ ability to produce these and other IEDs.
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