Militants kill more than 60 regime fighters across Syria
Islamist militants have killed more than 60 Syrian regime fighters in 48 hours, an activist group said Saturday, in some of the deadliest attacks on pro-Damascus forces in recent weeks.
Kurdish-led forces in March announced the defeat of the Daesh (ISIS) “caliphate” in eastern Syria, but the extremists have retained hideouts there and in other parts of the country as well as the ability to carry out deadly assaults.
Since Thursday, Daesh militants have killed 35 pro-Damascus fighters in regime-held parts of central and eastern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Observatory chief Rami Abdel-Rahman said it was “the highest death toll among regime forces since the caliphate was declared defeated” in the eastern village of Baghouz last month.
Regime fighters also came under attack on another front of Syria’s grinding eight-year-old war, the Britain-based activist group added.
Since Thursday Daesh has killed 27 troops and allied militiamen, including four Syrian army officers, in the desert east of Homs province, the Observatory said.
The Observatory also said the group’s fighters killed another eight soldiers and militiamen in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor on Thursday night.
That attack targeted a desert village south of the city of Mayadin on the Euphrates River, upstream from Baghouz.
Separately, militants linked to Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate attacked loyalists outside the northwestern region of Idlib Saturday, killing 26 pro-Assad fighters, the Observatory said.
In the northwestern Idlib region, Assad’s forces face Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate.
The attack by an HTS affiliate on the western edges of Aleppo city killed 21 loyalists while an ambush by HTS-linked militants took the lives of five more pro-regime fighters in the northeast of Latakia province.