The Islamic State group targeted Kurds celebrating on the eve of Persian new year in Syria Friday, while conducting a series of deadly raids elsewhere in the country.
More than 30 people celebrating the holiday including children were killed in the northern city of Hassaka by a double suicide bombing. Dozens more were reportedly injured.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) put the death toll at 33, including five children, while Syrian state media reported 37 were dead. State broadcaster SANA cited a local police source as stating 20 of the roughly 90 injured were in critical condition.
Called Nowruz, in Syria Persian new year celebrations are often entwined with Kurdish nationalism.
Over 100 people were killed across Syria in other attacks by the Islamic State group, according to SOHR.
The monitor estimated around 70 members of government security forces were killed in attacks in the government held Homs and Hama provinces.
SOHR's director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP the attacks were in response to recent losses by the Islamic State group.
“(The Islamic State group) has faced setbacks recently in the provinces of Aleppo and Raqa and in Hasakeh in confrontations with Kurds on the one hand and regime forces on the other, and are now trying to score military points, even limited ones, to offset their losses,” he stated.
Syrian prime minister Wael Nader Halqi has condemned the attacks.
“These acts will only make the Syrian people, leadership and people more resolved to continue to work, fight terrorism and rebuild,” he stated.