Dozens of Syrian regime troops killed in suspected IS attack in Deir az-Zour
At least 40 regime soldiers were killed in an suspected Islamic State group attack in the eastern Syrian province of Deir al-Zour on Monday evening, activists have reported.
The Syrian news network Euphrates Post said that a bus carrying troops from the 11th Infantry Division of the Syrian regime army was attacked by machine gun fire from unknown militants and causing an explosion, killing all 40 personnel onboard.
The bus was travelling from the village of Muayzaliyah to Deir az-Zour city, where the troops were going to spend leave.
Syrian regime military security and members of the pro-regime Palestinian Liwaa Al-Quds militia set up a cordon around the site of the attack and arrested two people for taking photographs, the Euphrates Post added.
The Facebook page of the 11th Infantry Division confirmed that the bus had been targeted and said that poor weather forced the bus to drive slowly, making it easier for the militants to ambush tge vehicle.
IS' news agency Amaq reported that militants from the extremist group had targeted regime vehicles, destroying some of them and killing and injuring others, without specifying how many.
IS were expelled from Baghouz, the last town held by the group in Syria, by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in March 2019.
IS cells remain active in the deserts of Deir az-Zour province and local news sites reported that the road from the eastern province to Damascus was cut by militants on Monday, close to the town of Al-Sukhnah.
Two weeks ago, IS announced a campaign called "Revenge for the Two Sheikhs", in a reference to their leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who was killed in a US operation in October, and their former spokesman Abul-Hasan Al-Muhajir, who died in a US airstrike in Aleppo province.