Commandos kill 25 IS militants in central Syria: Observatory
Beirut, Lebanon - A commando operation backed by Russian warplanes and helicopters has killed 25 members of the Islamic State extremist group in central Syria, a monitor said on Sunday.
Supported by regime ally Russia, Syria’s army has waged a months-long offensive to recapture the vast desert region that stretches from the country’s centre to the Iraqi and Jordanian borders.
On Saturday, ‘25 IS members were killed and others wounded in a commando operation by Syrian regime forces with air support from Russian warplanes and helicopters’ in the northeast of Homs province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.
Six members of the regime forces were also killed, it said.
A military source said the operation occurred ‘20km inside Daesh (IS) terrorist lines’.
The raid allowed regime forces to seize control of three villages in the area, official news agency SANA reported the source as saying.
The army has captured swathes of territory from the extremists in the province. According to the Observatory, IS now controls just dozens of villages in the east of Homs.
The Syrian ‘Badiya’ is a large stretch of desert that extends over around 90,000sqkm of territory.
Since 2015, much of the Badiya has been held by IS, but Syria’s army has been chipping away at it since May.
Last week, the Observatory said regime forces had ousted IS from Al-Sukhna, the last extremist-held town in Homs province.
Syria’s army and Russia this weekend confirmed its full recapture.
‘The liberation of Al-Sukhna from IS terrorists opens up possibilities for Syrian government forces to launch an assault and free the city of Deir Ezzor’, a Russian army statement said.