Islamic State attack kills 7 pro-regime fighters in Syria

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Seven members of pro-regime forces were killed in Syria on Friday in an attack by the Islamic State group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says.

The attackers were on motorbikes when they opened fire on a military post, “killing at least seven pro-regime fighters”, in the vicinity of Boukamal on the border with Iraq, the NGO’s director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

This year, IS attacks have killed at least 385 members of pro-regime forces and 165 civilians, according to the Observatory, which has a vast network of sources in Syria.

Rahman said those killed on Friday included both Syrians and “foreigners.”

After rising to power in 2014 in parts of Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State saw its self-proclaimed “caliphate” waver after successive offensives against it in both countries, which were launched with the support of an international anti-jihadist coalition.

The defeat of IS in Syria was declared in 2019, but the coalition remained in the country to fight against jihadist cells that continue to operate there.

The conflict in Syria, sparked in 2011 by the iron-fisted repression of pro-democracy demonstrations, has left more than half a million dead.

More than twelve years of bloody conflict have divided the country into zones of influence.

President Bashar Assad’s regime has regained control of a large part of the country, with the support of its Russian and Iranian allies.

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