ISIS attacks kill about 100 in southwest Syria amid government offensive

Saturday, 28 Jul, 2018

Mass funerals were underway for the victims on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Russia-backed government forces were also reported to be bombarding pockets of IS-held territory in Daraa, west of Suweida, the BBC said. On Tuesday night the regime targeted the countryside in eastern Deir Ezzor, the Observatory reported.

Despite pro-government forces ousting the group from urban centres in eastern Syria previous year, surprise IS raids in recent months have killed dozens of regime and allied fighters.

But this month it became a new front for advancing Syrian forces after they re-established their authority over most of neighboring Daraa province. The Syrian government is in full control of the Golan Heights along the entire frontier with Jordan.

Sweida, whose residents are mostly from the Druze minority, has been relatively insulated from the war that has ravaged the rest of the country since 2011. It said the dead included at least 41 civilians.

Syrian government forces have discovered a field hospital used by members of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly known as al-Nusra Front, containing a considerable amount of Israeli-made medicine and medical supplies in the country's strategic southwestern province of Quneitra.

While the Syrian army managed to prevent another attack two suicide bombers belonging to the group "Islamic state".

The abduction of civilians - activists say at least 14 were women - also were reminiscent of the group's tactic of taking hostages and using women as sex slaves.

"The Philippine Embassy in Damascus has reported that at least 150 other people were wounded in the attacks but said there were no Filipinos among the casualties", Cayetano said.

The onslaught began with a triple suicide bombing in the city of Sweida, which was followed by attacks with guns and explosives on villages to its north and east.

Abdel Rahman said unidentified warplanes were also targeting IS fighters in the area. An initial investigation suggested the Islamic State was responsible for the rockets. But in recent weeks, President Bashar al-Assad's forces have swept through rebel territory, recapturing scores of southern villages in a Russian-backed offensive.

In the northeastern countryside of Sweida, the IS militants launched simultaneous attacks on several towns amid confrontation between the Syrian army and the IS militants in an attempt by the army to restore the points taken by IS, according to the observatory.