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    NewsMiddle EastIn Syria, more than 50 dead in an attack attributed to the Islamic State group

    In Syria, more than 50 dead in an attack attributed to the Islamic State group

    Published on : 02/18/2023 – 08:33

    At least 53 people have been killed in central Syria in an attack attributed to the Islamic State (IS) group, the deadliest in more than a year. Despite the loss of its strongholds in Syria and the blows of the international anti-jihadist coalition which announced on Friday that it had killed one of its leaders during a raid, the terrorist group continues its actions and has increased its attacks in recent months.

    At least 53 people were killed Friday, February 17, in an attack attributed to the Islamic State (IS) group, in a desert region of central Syria, announced state television.

    According to Syrian state television, “53 citizens were killed while picking truffles by Daesh terrorists (acronym for IS in Arabic, editor’s note), southeast of the city of Sokhne, in east of the province of Homs”.

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    The director of the Palmyra hospital, Walid Audi, where the bodies of the victims were brought, indicated that seven Syrian soldiers were among the killed, according to the Syrian pro-government radio, Cham FM.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), an NGO based in the United Kingdom and with a vast network of sources in Syria, had given an initial assessment of 36 people killed. Seven soldiers are among the victims, she then specified.

    This attack comes a few days after a similar attack on Saturday in the same region that left 16 dead, according to the OSDH. The victims of this attack were also picking up truffles, according to the same source, who specified that about sixty people had been kidnapped during this first attack.

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    According to the OSDH, the IS takes advantage of the fact that inhabitants of remote rural areas venture into the desert to collect truffles in order to attack them.


    The desert truffle, or sand truffle, is generally picked between February and April and sells for gold. According to the OSDH, the assailants were on motorcycles when they opened fire on their victims on Friday.

    Earlier in the day, 25 people were released by the Islamic State group, among the 60 people the group had kidnapped last Saturday, the NGO said.

    This attack is the deadliest carried out by the jihadist organization for more than a year, when it carried out an assault on a prison in the northeast of the country, in a region held by Kurdish forces. The attack left 373 dead, including 268 jihadists, after several days of intense fighting, according to the OSDH.

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    After a meteoric rise in power in 2014 in Iraq and neighboring Syria and the conquest of vast territories, the IS saw its self-proclaimed “caliphate” crumble under the blow of successive offensives. He was defeated in 2017 in Iraq and in 2019 in Syria. But the extremist group responsible for multiple abuses continues to carry out attacks in these two countries, despite raids by the anti-jihadist coalition.

    A senior IS leader, Hamza al-Homsi, was killed on Thursday night, according to the US military, which said four soldiers were injured in the operation.

    On February 10, another operation carried out with Kurdish forces led to the seizure of weapons and the death of another IS official.

    With AFP

    Source: France 24


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