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IS attack on Syrian regime airbase kills 7 soldiers

The extremist group have not relented in their attacks in Syria [Getty]

Date of publication: 16 August, 2018

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At least seven soldiers were killed when the Islamic State group attacked an army position near the eastern city of Deir az-Zour, as the group's guerrilla attacks persist.

A Syrian war monitoring group said at least seven soldiers were killed when the Islamic State group attacked an army position near the eastern city of Deir az-Zour.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights added that "several" IS members were also killed and injured during the attack but the exact number of casualties was yet to be confirmed.

It also said that the pro-regime fighters killed were of Syrian and non-Syrian nationality, indicating that foreign militia fighters from Iran or Russia may have also been at the airbase.

The Observatory said it was the first time the militants had attacked the Deir az-Zour air base since the regime recaptured it from the group last year.

The group reported the attack on Thursday, saying it took place on Wednesday near the Taim oil field.

Mohammad Hassan, a media coordinator for the activist-run Deir Ezzor 24, reported that at least 12 soldiers and five IS militants were killed in the clashes.

A recent UN report warned that IS, which once controlled large swathes of northeastern Syria and northwest Iraq, is adopting guerrilla tactics as is retains a presence in eastern Syria.

The group may still have up to 30,000 members distributed between Syria and Iraq, according to the report.

The Observatory added that the regime shelled areas on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river, including the villages of al-Baghuz, al-Sousah, al-Shafa, and Hajin, all purported to be IS strongholds. The shelling caused material damage but no casualties were reported.

Despite losing the vast majority of the territory they once held, the Islamic State's attacks persist.

Last month, the group carried out a suicide bombing in southern Syria which killed at least 150 people, becoming one of the deadliest attacks in the group's history.

The Syrian regime, backed by Russia, as well as Syrian opposition forces and the US, are all waging campaigns to oust the group from the region.

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