IS fighters attack government-held areas in central Syria

Laura Christensen
May 20, 2017

"The death toll is expected to rise because there are some people in a critical condition and others are still missing", said the monitor.

Speaking to reporters, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the USA will defend its troops in case of "aggressive" steps against them.

In September 2016, the coalition erroneously struck at Syrian government troops in Deir el-Zour, killing over 90 soldiers.

In 2015, Islamic State killed 46 civilians in the nearby al-Mabouja village, the Observatory said.

At least 49 people were killed during clashes between Syrian forces and militants from the Islamic State terror group in Aleppo province, a British war monitor reported on Thursday.

For more than four months, regime forces, backed by the Lebanese Hezbollah, and Russian jets, have been waging a major ground offensive in northern Syria and have retaken from Daesh dozens of towns and villages.

Daesh is on the defensive across most of the territory it still holds in Syria, with an alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters pressing towards its most important bastion, Raqqa in the north.

Media reports and doctors in the area said some of those killed in the latest raid were beheaded and others dismembered.

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The insurgents said on a social media feed it had captured the village of Aqarib al-Safi, but the government-run SANA news agency reported that the attack had been repulsed.

Some of the bodies were badly mutilated, beheaded or had their limbs severed but 'most appear to have died as a result of gunfire, ' Safar told The Associated Press by telephone.

He added that at least nine of the dead children had suffered head injuries after being beaten with heavy objects such as bricks.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack on two villages killed 15 civilians and 27 pro-government fighters, with another 10 bodies yet to be identified as government fighters or local residents.

A separate source in the hospital said 120 people were wounded.

The Syrian state news agency SANA said Iraqi national security adviser Faleh al-Fayad and Assad discussed "practical measures for military coordination on both sides of the border in light of the victories the Iraqi army is achieving in Mosul".

Hostilities have intensified in that area, as supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad try to advance and take control of Maskanah town, in the eastern end of Aleppo, and other surrounding areas. IS has massacred thousands of Shiites and other opponents in Syria and Iraq, often boasting about the killings and circulating photos and videos of them online.

Other reports by My Hot News

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