Monitor: ISIL kills 19 regime fighters in east Syria

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the attacks over the past 24 hours struck in and around Albu Kamal

Syrian pro-government forces set up a road checkpoint next to a mural reading the Arabic: "Islamic State" after they took control of the northern Syrian town of Maskanah from the jihadists on June 5, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / George OURFALIAN
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Jihadists from the Islamic State group have killed at least 19 pro-government fighters in a spate of attacks in eastern Syria, a monitoring group said on Sunday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in Britain, said the attacks over the past 24 hours struck in and around the town of Albu Kamal, near the border with Iraq.

ISIL has largely been defeated since storming across the region in 2014, but still clings to pockets of territory in eastern Syria and maintains the ability to launch deadly attacks.

Albu Kamal was a long-time stronghold of the jihadists that they lost in the face of a Russian-backed offensive at the end of 2017.

The Observatory says the group now holds less than 5 per cent of territory in Syria, mainly pockets in the deserts of eastern and central regions.

But the group managed to launch a surprise strike in the capital Damascus last monthin which they captured the Qadam district.

The Observatory said the death toll among pro-regime fighters in the strike had risen to 116 after more bodies were discovered in the rubble.