Wednesday, March 29, 2023

IS militants intensify attacks in eastern, central Syria

According to local sources, terrorists affiliated with the Islamic State terror group have intensified their attacks in eastern and central Syria in recent days.

At least two Syrian government soldiers were killed on Monday in an attack by suspected IS fighters near the ancient city of Palmyra in central Syria, the local North Press agency reports.

The militants targeted an outpost guarded by Syrian Army soldiers from the Fourth Division, reportedly hiding behind a seized military vehicle.

At least seven Syrian government soldiers and Iranian-backed militias were killed two days ago in two separate IS attacks in eastern Syria, local news reports said.

IS militants continue to launch large-scale attacks against their opponents in Syria and Iraq, despite having lost almost all of their ground.

The group has been particularly active in Syria’s Badia Desert, which is controlled by government forces, Iranian and Russian-backed militias in central Syria.

FILE – Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad ride on armed pick-up trucks in Badia in the southeastern Syrian desert, in this handout photo provided by SANA, June 13, 2017.

Russia and Iran are the two main backers of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

“Badia is a very interesting area in Syria right now,” said Rami Abdulrahman, director of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

“It links regime-held areas with parts of northern and western Syria controlled by Turkish-backed groups,” he told the VOA. “Therefore [IS] Terrorists can move between the two regions and manage to evade Russian air strikes.”

According to the Syrian Observatory, in response to increased IS activities in the region, Russian planes carried out at least 15 airstrikes against militants’ hideouts on Monday.

Omar Abu Laila is the head of Deir Azzour 24, a journalism and research group focused on the development of eastern Syria. Abu Laila says the current spurt in IS attacks is the result of two factors.

“The first attempt is simply to boost the morale of its fighters and to show its supporters that the group is still capable of conducting deadly operations against any opposing force,” he told the VOA.

The second factor, Abu Laila said, is “they seek to eliminate the almost complete influence of Iranian forces on the military supply line that extends from the Iraqi border to Shayrat airbase in Homs province and other areas of Syria.”

IS also has active cells in some areas under the control of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in eastern Syria, particularly in Deir al-Zour province.

In October, 21 anti-IS operations were conducted by the SDF, the group said on Monday. The operation, supported by US-led coalition troops, resulted in the arrest of 51 IS suspects, also known as Daesh.

“These joint operations demonstrate our mutual commitment as partners to refuse to influence any Daesh presence in northeastern Syria,” the coalition said on Twitter.

This story originated in the VOA’s Kurdish service.


This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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