Friday, December 8, 2023

Daesh kills 30 in Syrian desert

Daesh militants have killed at least 30 Syrian pro-government fighters and soldiers stationed in three different desert regions of Syria, stressing the terror group’s persistent threat years after its territorial defeat.

Daesh waged parallel machine gun attacks in the regions of Raqqa, Homs, and Deir ez-Zor on Wednesday, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based war monitor.

The attacks killed 26 members of the National Defence Forces, a pro-government militia, along with four soldiers. The observatory added it expected the death toll to rise due to an unspecified number of wounded, some of whom are in critical condition.

The monitor also said Russian warplanes had conducted strikes on Daesh positions in the desert, causing casualties among its members.

Daesh, an armed group that once commanded an estimated 50,000 fighters, declared its own “caliphate” across large parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014.

The group was ousted from Syria in 2019 but its vestiges continue to hide out in the desert and plot deadly hit-and-run attacks, targeting both pro-government forces and Kurdish-led fighters.

Daesh was blamed for a string of deadly attacks on government loyalists earlier this year after it announced the death of its leader and named his replacement – the group’s fifth chief – as Abu Hafs al-Hashimi al-Qurashi.

In August, 33 Syrian soldiers were killed near Mayadeen in Deir Ez-Zor province, while 10 pro-government militiamen were killed in Raqqa, Daesh former stronghold.

The same month, the group attacked a convoy of oil tankers in the Syrian desert, killing seven people including two civilians.

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