The Islamic State continues ambushes in Syria

Side-street in Sinjar (Iraq) ruined by the war Side-street in Sinjar (Iraq) ruined by the war Photo by Levi Clancy on Unsplash

07 January 2021

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports an ISIS attack on vehicles on the Damascus-Al-Raqqah highway that killed nine people and injured several more

On January 3 2020, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the Islamic State (IS) attacked a bus and several other vehicles travelling from Damascus on the Damascus-Al-Raqqah highway, near the Wadi Al-Ozayb area. According to the SOHR, the attack killed nine people, including seven regime soldiers, a little girl and a further civilian; 16 more are reported to have been wounded, many severely, including four civilians. The death toll is expected to rise as more victims succumb to their injuries.

This most recent attack closely follows another that took place on 30 December 2020, when the SOHR reports that 39 regime soldiers were killed while on busses travelling along the Homs-Deir Ezzor road; according to some sources, some civilians may also have been affected. The responsibility for this strike was also attributed to the Islamic State, who is said to have executed a well planned ambush. The event resulted in reinforcements from the regime to be brought in to secure the area, as well as strikes to be conducted by the Russian Air Force.

Starting in 2014, IS imposed its rule upon millions of people and gained control over vast territories  ranging from western Syria to eastern Iraq. After years of fighting by local forces supported by the international Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR),  IS was declared territorially defeated in Syria and Iraq in March of 2019. However,  its presence still remains: according to the SOHR, 1,137 soldiers from regime and loyalist forces (including Russians), 145 Iranian backed militia personnel, four civilians working in the gas fields, 11 shepherds and four other people have been killed in attacks attributed to IS since March of 2019. In the same period, 610 ISIS members are reported to have been slain. 


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Author: Charoula Papastefanaki; Editor: Maxime Grenier

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