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Death toll of IS attacks in Syria's Sweida rises to 215

Death toll of IS attacks in Syria's Sweida rises to 215

Hassan Omar told The Associated Press that as many as 80 people were wounded in Wednesday's attacks and clashes, which the government blamed on Islamic State militants. It is unclear what happened to hostages that ISIS reportedly took in some of the villages.

On July 24, Israel said it had shot down a Syrian plane that had entered its airspace over Golan, a version denied by Damascus, which said the plane was carrying out operations against jihadists.

In the northeastern Hasakeh province, an IED in Al Shaddadi city killed one and damaged a vehicle.

A Russian military delegation that had recently visited Sweida and asked community leaders to sanction local militias enrolment in a Russian-backed offensive in southwestern Syria to regain rebel held territory had met refusal, a Druze official familiar with the matter said.

In the eastern countryside of Sweida, some areas in the remote eastern countryside are under IS control.

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 Observatory said jihadists seized hostages from the villages they had attacked. It said another 45 IS militants were killed in the clashes. The operation has focused on Deraa and Quneitra provinces.

Earlier this month, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited Moscow for talks with Syrian regime backer Vladimir Putin about Damascus and Tehran.

The death toll in coordinated Islamic State group suicide bombings and shootings in southern Syria rose to almost 250 overnight, more than half of them civilians, a monitor said on Thursday.

It put the death toll for those attacks and others elsewhere in the surrounding province, also called Sweida, at 38.

"Competent authorities" pursued two other suicide bombers and managed to kill them before they committed more bombings, and also killed a Daesh terrorist in the city's Al-Maslakh area, SANA reported.

However, Syrian state news agency SANA reported that the Syrian army led the counter-attack with support from local armed groups. Mr Abdel Rahman said unidentified warplanes were also targeting ISIS fighters in the area.

State television said the army was targeting IS in the province's east.

Since its offensive started in June, President Bashar al Assad's forces have retaken territories controlled by the rebels along the Golan Heights frontier and are now fighting militants in the country's southern tip.


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