>> The Islamic State bombings that killed nearly 150 people in Syria Monday, the latest reminder that even if the group is losing territory in Iraq and Syria, it still has teeth. The bombings, after a similar wave in Iraq last week, were the first by ISIS to hit serious coastal cities of Jableh and Tartous.
Located in the heart of the territory still held by president Bashar Al-Assad. And where Assad ally Russia has been building up military might. Jableh is close to a Russian airbase, and Tartous home to a naval operation. The very places in Syria where Assad and his Alawite sect supporters thought they could feel safe as the five-year civil war drags on.
Yara Bayoumy is on the story.>> These are areas that are part of Assad's heartland, where the minority Alawites are generally concentrated in Syria. The majority in Syria who are Sunnis have been maligned under Assad for so many years. The Alawites, of course, have a very great fear that at some point the Sunnis will turn on them.
If ISIS did indeed carry out these attacks, this is part of ISIS's tactic of stirring up the sectarian tensions, and this is definitely a very clear illustration of that.>> Bayoumy says Monday's bombings show ISIS is adapting.>> The coalition may be able to gradually reduce the territory that is under the control of ISIS.
But as that happens, ISIS is also morphing and adapting its tactics to that new reality. But if this pattern continues, we may very well see more of those kinds of asymmetrical attacks. We saw them in Iraq as well over the past week or so.>> The day's attacks, a grim counterpoint to Iraq announcing a major offensive Monday to retake Fallujah.
The only major city Islamic State still holds besides their Iraqi stronghold in the north, Mosul.