21 Syrian pro-government militiamen killed in overnight ambush by Islamic State group, reports say
BEIRUT (AP) — The Islamic State group ambushed pro-government militia-men in an overnight attack in eastern Syria, killing at least 21 fighters, pro-government media and an opposition war monitor said Wednesday.
Sham FM radio reported that the militiamen from the pro-government National Defense Places were ambushed in the village of al-Kawm in the central Syrian desert, between the government-held city of Homs and south of the city of Raqqa, which is under control of United States (US)-backed Kurdish-led forces.
British-based opposition war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also blamed IS for the attack but gave a higher death toll, saying there were 34 militiamen killed. Different casualty figures are common in the aftermath of such attacks.
Syrian officials did not immediately comment on the attack, and there was no immediate claim of responsibility from IS.
The attack comes as violence is rising elsewhere in Syria. The opposition-held enclave in the country’s northwest has witnessed intense shelling and airstrikes by the Syrian army and Russian allies over the past month, and an Iran-backed Iraqi militant group regularly launches attacks on US bases in eastern and southern Syria.
Neighbouring Israel has been mired in war in the blockaded Gaza Strip since October 7, following the deadly incursion by the Palestinian militant group into southern Israel. Israel has also continued to strike government-held parts of Syria, including numerous attacks on the international airports in the city of Aleppo and the capital, Damascus.