‘They’re trying to blow up our unity’: RT talks to terror spree survivors in Tartus & Jableh

Syrian army soldiers and civilians inspect the damage after explosions hit the Syrian city of Tartous, in this handout picture provided by SANA on May 23, 2016. © SANA
A series of blasts that struck the Syrian coastal cities of Jableh and Tartus left a trail of over 140 dead on Monday. As medics fought to help survivors live, RT managed to talk to some of those injured in the gruesome terror attack.

Four car bombs and three suicide bombers shook the relatively peaceful existence of the two Mediterranean cities, known for their loyalty to Damascus. According to the Syrian foreign ministry, terrorists first detonated a car bomb at the main bus station in Tartus, which was immediately followed by two suicide bomb explosions, one inside the bus station and the other in a nearby residential neighborhood.

At least 48 people were killed in Tartous on Monday. Visiting the site of the bus terminal atrocities, an RT Arabic crew managed to view firsthand the scene of the extensive destruction, noting that many of those killed and injured had been school children or university students. RT managed to talk to the injured survivors at the hospital who described what happened.

“We were standing. Then suddenly we heard a strong bang… A suicide bomber exploded himself,” a student survivor told RT. “We did not even pay attention to him. He was standing next to us. I don't remember what happened next. I have broken my leg in three places. I have shrapnel in my stomach and in my head.”

Another witness to the tragedy told RT that he heard the initial blast at the bus station on his way to work. As everyone started running, he said, he heard a second blast, followed by a third, in which he got injured.

“I hope Allah will punish terrorists! They are blowing up the country,” he said, adding that he was “injured in the arm, back, leg – everywhere.”

“Their goal is to destroy our national unity and drive a wedge between religious confessions,” one of the locals told RT. “We do not pay attention to religious affiliation. Many of Tartus’ citizens have fallen as heroes in battles. From the very beginning of the crisis Tartus has been accepting refugees from all of the provinces.”

The head of the al-Bassel Hospital , Dr. Muhammad Habib Hussein, noted that as soon as explosions were heard, “all ambulances were dispatched to the scene and began transporting the wounded to the hospital.” Once in the hospital, Hussein noted, victims were divided into different categories according to the “nature and severity of injuries.”

Following the Tartus blasts, almost simultaneously, jihadists went on to detonate three car bombs in the city of Jableh. Two of the bombs went off at the main bus station, while the third was deployed near Electricity Directorate. A forth attack in the city was carried out by a suicide bomber at the entrance to Jableh National Hospital.

At least 100 people were killed in Jableh. The Islamist “Ahrar al-Cham” terror group claimed responsibility for the attacks in both cities.

On Tuesday the Cabinet adopted measures to grant financial support to the families of the victims and those injured in the attacks. The government also promised to pay for the reconstruction and has already approved SYP 500 million ($2.2 million) for a new hospital in Jableh city, as the existing one was severely damaged in the attack.

“There are directives given by President Bashar al-Assad to directly and immediately pay compensation for all damage and losses [to the affected people] as the governorate has assigned special committees to determine damage and due compensation,” Assistant Regional Secretary of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party Hilal al-Hilal said in Tartous.