This article was last updated on August 8, 2023
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Islamic State militants launch deadly attack on Syrian soldiers
Islamic State fighters have launched a brutal attack on Syrian soldiers, resulting in the death of at least 10 soldiers. The attack took place in northern Syria near the city of Raqqah, according to a report from a British human rights organization that closely monitors the situation in the country.
Multiple checkpoints targeted
The armed IS fighters reportedly stormed several checkpoints, opening fire on army vehicles and even setting some of them ablaze. As a result of the attack, six soldiers were injured, with some in critical condition.
Lack of official acknowledgement
Surprisingly, Syrian state media has made no mention of the IS attack. This raises questions about whether the government has chosen to downplay the incident or if it is yet to gather enough information to confirm the attack. Furthermore, the Islamic State has not claimed responsibility for the attack through any of its propaganda channels.
200 Syrian soldiers killed in IS attacks this year
This attack adds to the growing number of casualties suffered by the Syrian army in its fight against the Islamic State. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), around 200 soldiers have been killed in IS attacks so far this year. The SOHR relies on a network of local residents and publicly available sources, including social media, for its research.
Civilian death toll
In addition to the military casualties, the SOHR reports that approximately 150 civilians have been killed by Islamic State militants in the Syrian desert this year. On the other side of the conflict, the Syrian army, with the support of the Russian military, has managed to eliminate 20 IS terrorists either through direct combat or airstrikes.
It is important to note that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad maintains a close alliance with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
IS defeat in Iraq and Syria
Loss of territorial control
Islamic State had previously held significant territories in both Iraq and Syria. However, by 2019, the terrorist organization had been completely driven out of these areas. This was a result of concerted efforts by a Western coalition, which provided air support to Syrian opposition groups, as well as the Syrian government army, which received assistance from the Russian military.