DFA condoles with Syria after ISIS massacre

Aaron Brown
July 28, 2018

Militants carried out a series of suicide bombings and other attacks Wednesday in southern Syria, killing at least 38 people.

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.

The attacks took place in and around the government-held city of Sweida, state media and monitors reported.

Hassan Omar, a government health official in Sweida province, said on Thursday that at least 150 people were wounded in the attacks; some of them were in critical condition.

A suicide vehicle bombing that same day killed 14 fighters from pro-government and rebel ranks in an attack on a south Syrian village claimed by the Islamic State group.

The bombings were apparently timed to coincide with attacks by a militant group linked to IS on a number of villages in the province, also called Sweida.

The attacks came after the Syrian government launched a campaign to retake areas in the southern parts of the country that remain under rebel control, with Russia's assistance. The Israeli-occupied Golan Heights has never been recognised by the worldwide community.

Stray rockets and mortars have landed in the Israeli Golan in the past as a result of fighting in Syria's on-going civil war. It said the dead included civilians, pro-government fighters and IS militants.

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Government troops and allied forces are battling to reclaim the last stretch of of Sweida province from Islamic State militants.

The Islamic State group has lost much of the territory it once held in Syria and neighboring Iraq, but does still control parts of eastern and southern Syria.

In the city itself, at least two attackers blew themselves up, one near a marketplace and the second in another district, state television said. When the attackers ran out of ammunition, they detonated their explosive vests. They have managed to liberate dozens of villages and towns from foreign-backed militants.

"All Islamic State terrorists and missile systems were destroyed by a pin-point retaliation strike of the Israel Defense Forces warplanes and artillery", the ministry said.

Syria's southwestern Quneitra province includes the Golan Heights, most of which is annexed and occupied by Israel.

IS (previously known as ISIS or ISIL) is viewed as a terror group by Russian Federation and most countries.

The Syrian government condemned the move, describing it as a "criminal operation" by Israel and others. More airstrikes against ISIS-held towns were reported after this attack.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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