ADDS STATE DEPT. COMMENT
By Zein al-Mustafa and Mohamed Misto
LATAKIA, Syria (AA) - More than 65 people were killed Monday in a series of synchronized bombings in the regime-held provinces of Latakia and Tartus, responsibility for which have since been claimed by the Daesh terrorist group.
Syria’s official SANA news agency reported that four explosions had shaken the city of Jableh in the southern Latakia province, leaving more than 45 people dead and dozens of others injured.
Shortly afterward, the news agency reported, three violent blasts also shook the city of Tartus -- located in the province of the same name -- killing at least 20.
According to the news agency, the blasts in Tartus were the result of car bombs and teams of suicide bombers, who had blown themselves up at targeted locations.
In a subsequent statement issued by Daesh, the group claimed responsibility for the bombings.
The bombings in Tartus were the largest in recent history to hit the city, which has enjoyed relative tranquility in recent years.
The bombings that shook Jableh, meanwhile, are considered the first of their kind since the start of the conflict in Syria more than five years ago.
In Washington, the State Department strongly condemned "the horrific attacks", while calling on the Syrian government to halt its attacks in Aleppo and Daraya.
The Syrian government attacks "demonstrate a disregard for the Cessation of Hostilities, UN Security Council Resolution 2254, and efforts to advance a political solution to the conflict, as well as its own commitments to facilitate full access for humanitarian relief supplies," spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement.
Secretary of State John Kerry raised the concerns with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, earlier Monday and urged Russia to end its airstrikes "against opposition forces and innocent civilians in Aleppo and the Damascus suburbs", Toner said.
*Anadolu Agency reporter Michael Hernandez contributed to this report from Washington