Syria's President, Hezbollah, UN Rap Deadly Terror Attacks in Sweida

28 July, 2018, 03:28 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Israeli soldiers walk in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights across the border from the southern Syrian province of Quneitra in July 2018

In a statement released on Thursday, Hezbollah offered its deepest condolences to families of the victims of Wednesday's Daesh bombings and shootings, the worst bloodshed in Sweida since the conflict erupted in 2011.

The attacks took place in and around the government-held city of Sweida, state media and monitors reported.

There had been no support from Syrian pro-government forces, she said.

The jihadists launched simultaneous attacks on several villages northeast of Sweida city, where they clashed with government forces, state media and the Observatory said.

Noura al-Basha, a local journalist reporting from Suwayda province, told Syria Direct that the IS attack on villages in eastern Suwayda province began at 6:30 am Wednesday morning.

In the eastern countryside of Sweida, some areas in the remote eastern countryside are under IS control.

Syrian rebels watch for pro-government fighters in western Daraa province on July 10.

Israel took control of 1,200 square kilometers (460 square miles) of the Golan from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognized internationally. At least 135 civilians were among the killed, the Observatory said.

Israel's army earlier said it had shot down a Syrian fighter jet that had infiltrated Israeli airspace, risking another escalation around the sensitive buffer zone.

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Islamic State lost almost all the territory it once held in Syria a year ago in separate offensives by the Russian-backed army and a US -backed militia alliance.

The onslaught began with a triple suicide bombing in Sweida, which was followed by attacks with guns and explosives on villages to its north and east. Photographs suggested at least one Islamic State militant was later hanged from a bridge in Sweida city.

The attacks came nearly a week into a deadly Russia-backed regime campaign to oust IS fighters from a holdout in a neighbouring province of the country's south.

An activist-operated Facebook page called Sweida News Network said numerous killed were shot in the head.

Chargè d'Affaires Alex Lamadrid said the Embassy was in touch with two Filipino women in Sweida who are married to Syrian nationals.

The Syrian military, backed by Russian forces, recently launched an operation to drive the rebels from their remaining strongholds in the south-west. At least 45 IS militants were killed in the fighting.

The government of President Bashar al-Assad has in recent weeks ousted rebels from a majority of the country's south, part of which borders the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

However, Syrian state news agency SANA reported that the Syrian army led the counter-attack with support from local armed groups.

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