“At least 15 people, including seven civilians and eight local pro-government fighters, were killed by Daesh members who slit their throats while they were collecting truffles on Thursday,” Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the UK-based war monitor, said.
Forty others are missing following the attack in Salamiyah district, located 33 kilometers (21 miles) southeast of Hama, he added.
Between February and April each year, hundreds of impoverished Syrians search for truffles in the vast Syrian Desert, or Badia. The region is a known hideout for Takfiri terrorists and is also littered with landmines.
Foragers risk their lives to collect the delicacies, despite repeated warnings about landmines and Daesh terrorists.
The prized fungus can sell for up to $25 per kilogram ($11 per pound), depending on size and grade.
The Syrian Desert is reportedly renowned for producing some of the best quality truffles in the world.
According to the Observatory, Daesh is taking advantage of the annual harvest of the desert fungus delicacy to carry out attacks in remote locations.
Since February, at least 150 people – most of them civilians – have been killed by Daesh attacks targeting truffle hunters or by landmines left by extremist militants, SOHR announced.
Earlier this month, Daesh Takfiris killed three truffle hunters and kidnapped at least 26 others in northern Syria.
Back on February 18, at least 68 people picking truffles in a desert of Homs province were killed in a Daesh attack.