The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

ISIS resurgence | ISIS kills 145 civilians and combatants in the Syrian desert in 70 days

ISIS continues its intensive attacks on different areas of the Syrian desert, a message for the regime forces and their allies that the Islamic group still has enough power to respond. Clearly, ISIS fighters are still deployed in nearly 4,000 square kilometres all along Jabal Abu Rajmin region in north-eastern Palmyra and the desert of Deir Ezzor and its western countryside, and Al-Sukhna desert and north of the administrative borders of Al-Suwaydaa province.


The areas of Aleppo-Hama-Al-Raqqah triangle, Homs and Deir Ezzor deserts, experience bombings, ambushes and attacks almost daily by ISIS that are countered by periodic security operations of regime’s forces and their proxy factions under cover of the Russian fighter jets, despite the noticeable subsiding aerial operations by Russian aircraft.


In 2023, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) documented the death of 54 regime soldiers and loyalists, including 14 Iranian-backed Syrian and non-Syrian militiamen, in over 38 security operations by ISIS in the Syrian desert.


In addition, 91 civilians, including a woman were killed by ISIS in the Syrian desert since early 2023.


Meanwhile, ISIS lost four members in clashes with regime forces and Russian airstrikes on ISIS hideouts in the desert in the same period.


Here is a regional distribution of ISIS attacks in 2023:


-Homs desert: 13 operations left 99 fatalities:


  • 22 combatants, including three Iranian-backed militias.


  • 77 civilians, including a woman.


-Al-Raqqah desert: Seven operations left 11 regime soldiers, three ISIS members and one civilian dead.


-Deir Ezzor desert: 13 operations which left 22 fatalities:


  • 20 combatants, including 11 Iranian-backed militias.


  • One ISIS member.


  • One civilian.


-Hama desert: Five operations left 12 civilians and one member of “National Defence Forces” dead.


Moreover, ISIS kidnapped tens of truffle hunters, both combatants and civilian, in different areas in the desert.


In 2022, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) documented the death of 266 people in over 101 security operations by ISIS in the Syrian desert.


The fatalities are distributed as follows:


  • 234 members of regime forces and their proxies.


  • 27 Iranian-backed Syrian and non-Syrian militiamen.


  • Five civilians.