Killed In Southwest Syria After A Series Of Attacks: State Media

28 July, 2018, 03:26 | Author: Rachel Logan
  • Mass funerals were held in the city of Sweida on Thursday a day after the wave of attacks that began in the early hours of the mourning and lasted for hours

Islamic State militants unleashed suicide blasts and gunfire Wednesday in a rare attack in a southern Syrian city, official said, killing scores of people and underscoring the group's ability to strike despite losing most of its territory.

The city of Sweida has largely been spared most of the violence that Syrian cities have witnessed in the years since the conflict started in 2011.

Mass funerals were held in the city of Sweida on Thursday, a day after the wave of attacks that began in the early hours of the mourning and lasted for hours. The attackers were confronted with government forces and self-defense units. On Tuesday night the regime targeted the countryside in eastern Deir Ezzor, the Observatory reported.

The Syrian government has retaken control of much of southern Syria in recent months. It is now closing in on a patch of territory in nearby Daraa province held by jihadist group Jaish Khalid bin al-Walid, which has pledged allegiance to IS. The Israeli-occupied Golan Heights has never been recognised by the global community.

While there are no Filipinos reported among the casualties, the Philippine Embassy in Damascus said it remains ready to assist and repatriate any of the estimated 1,000 Filipinos who are still in Syria. It said the dead included at least 41 civilians.

Israel in particular objects to the presence of regime-allied foreign fighters close to its borders: namely, Iranian forces or units from Lebanese militia Hezbollah.

While the Syrian army managed to prevent another attack two suicide bombers belonging to the group "Islamic state".

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The Syrian government's official news agency SANA reported that one suicide bomber detonated his explosives in a market in Suweida, while two other bombers were killed by security forces.

Meanwhile, SANA said the army, with the help of the locals in some of the towns that were attacked by IS in the northeastern countryside of Sweida, succeeded in pushing IS out.

The attacks also killed 94 regime fighters, most of whom were residents who had picked up weapons to defend their villages as well as 30 ISIS fighters, including the attackers.

IS claimed responsibility in a series of statements on its propaganda channels on Wednesday.

The Syrian military, backed by Russian forces, recently launched an operation to drive rebel from their remaining strongholds in the south-west.

The Syrian warplanes are also taking part in striking the IS fighters in the areas where clashes are ongoing northeast of Sweida.

ISIS killed dozens of people in a string of attacks on government-held parts of the southwest.

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