Islamic State (ISIS) militants have carried out a deadly assault in eastern Syria, killing at least 10 pro-government fighters and leaving six others injured, as reported by war monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
The attack took place in Raqqa, the former stronghold of ISIS, where the Islamist extremists targeted military vehicles and checkpoints belonging to the Syrian government and its allied local militias. According to the United Kingdom-based SOHR, the militants gained control of these positions for a duration of several hours, setting military vehicles and prefabs on fire.
Syrian state media did not immediately provide a response to the incident.
Damascus’ influence extends over the eastern and southern portions of Raqqa, whereas the majority of the northern sector falls within the jurisdiction of the Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES).
The city, previously declared and governed as the “capital of the caliphate” by ISIS, was reclaimed by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) of AANES in 2017.
The SOHR also reported the demise of six additional Syrian soldiers as a result of attacks directed at Damascus-affiliated forces in the northwest region of the country.
Since it was ousted from its final stronghold in Baghouz in March 2019, ISIS has experienced a significant reduction in power. However, the group maintains a presence primarily in rural regions across Iraq and Syria and stages on-going resurgence efforts. Within these areas, remnants of the group continue to orchestrate attacks targeting both security forces and civilians.
Recently, ISIS confirmed the death of its leader, Abu Hussein Al Husseini Al Qurashi, following clashes with the extremist faction Hayat Tahrir Al Sham in Syria’s Idlib province.
The United States-led Global Coalition against ISIS remain stationed in Syria, collaborating closely with the Kurdish-led SDF in the north-eastern regions to ensure a sustained defeat of the fundamentalist group. However, both AANES and the US has been warning that Turkey’s attacks in the region negatively impact the fight against ISIS.