Published: Fri, July 27, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Almost 250 dead in IS attacks on south Syria: new toll

Almost 250 dead in IS attacks on south Syria: new toll

The Philippines on Friday condoled with Syria after some 200 people were killed in a series of attacks launched by terrorist group Islamic State in southern parts of the Middle Eastern country earlier this week.

And the Russian foreign ministry said the ISIS attacks "confirm the need for energetic and coordinated efforts by the worldwide community to eradicate this universal evil from Syrian territory".

Several bodies of civilians were found shot some of the villages that the militants had overrun, they said.

In Sweida city, three ISIS militants detonated suicide vests while explosions rang out from clashes in the eastern countryside of Sweida province, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

Syrian state media reported deadly attacks on Sweida and surrounding villages but did not give a specific toll.

However, Syrian state news agency SANA reported that the Syrian army led the counter-attack with support from local armed groups.

Anger over President Bashar al Assad's authorities perceived failure to avert the dawn attacks pushed residents to prevent the governor of the province, Amer al Ashi, and representatives of the government from attending the funeral.

After losing its strongholds in eastern Syria a year ago, Islamic State launched insurgency operations from pockets of territory in desert areas.

For the southern offensive, government forces redeployed troops from Sweida province last month to attack rebels and ISIS-affiliate militants in the nearby provinces of Daraa and Quneitra.

The remaining 94 dead were pro-regime fighters, mostly residents who took up arms to defend their homes, it said.

However, Israel said it will continue to escalate attacks along its frontier and elsewhere in Syria where it suspects Iranian-backed forces are stationed.

It posted gruesome photographs showing jihadists beheading at least four men it said were government fighters it had captured in Sweida.

The group, known officially as Syria Civil Defence, has been widely hailed in the West and credited with saving thousands of people in rebel-held areas during years of bombing attacks by Damascus and its allies.

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

The Yarmouk Basin in south-west Syria remains in jihadist hands.

The Syrian government has retaken control of much of southern Syria in recent months.

In the worst violence to hit the area since the country's conflict began, the militants also reportedly abducted at least 18 people, activists said.

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