ISIS kills at least 28 pro-government fighters in Syria

Militants launched attacks in Homs and Deir Ezzor provinces, war monitor says

Smoke rises the eastern city of Deir Ezzor as Syrian government forces fight against ISIS, in 2017. AFP
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At least 28 Syrian soldiers and pro-government fighters were killed in two ISIS attacks in regime-held areas of the country on Friday, a war monitor said.

At least 22 army soldiers and members of pro-government forces died when militants opened fire on a military bus in the eastern countryside of Homs province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Most of those killed were members of the Quds Brigade, a group comprising Palestinian fighters who have received support from Damascus ally Moscow in recent years, the UK-based monitor said.

Six Syrian soldiers were killed in another ISIS attack on a base near Al Bukamal, in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor, the observatory said. The attacks were not reported by Syrian state media.

ISIS overran large areas of Syria and Iraq in 2014, proclaiming a so-called caliphate. The group was defeated territorially in Syria in 2019, but its remnants continue to carry out deadly attacks, particularly against pro-government forces and Kurdish-led fighters in the Badia desert.

In March, ISIS militants killed eight Syrian soldiers in an ambush in the desert in eastern Syria, the observatory said.

The troops were travelling from the town of Sukhna in Homs province to the city of Deir Ezzor when they were attacked, it said. ISIS killed six soldiers after they were captured in an earlier ambush between Sukhna and Palmyra in Homs province.

More than 200 soldiers and pro-government fighters have been killed in ISIS attacks in the Deir Ezzor, Homs and Raqqa provinces this year, the observatory said.

Syria's war has killed more than half a million people and displaced millions more since it began in March 2011 with Damascus's repression of anti-government protests.

Updated: April 19, 2024, 12:14 PM