IS kills more than 50 in central Syria

Bruno Cirelli
Mag 20, 2017

The Islamic State group attacked several government-held villages in central Syria on Thursday, capturing at least one of them in violence that left dozens of people dead, including three members of the same family.

Another 10 bodies had yet to be identified.

State-run SANA news agency said that Islamic State fighters killed 20 people in the village of Aqarib al-Safi - east of Hama city before the army and allied militia repulsed the attack.

Separately, Syrian state television said Islamic State shelled a government-held district in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor also killed 13 people on Thursday, many of them children.

IS was now fully in control of Aqareb, SOHR said, adding that the government had sent reinforcements to the area. The coalition had so far kept its military operations focused on Islamic State militants and al-Qaida-linked groups.

The return fire from Shilka's four 23mm autocannons forced the attacking aircraft to rapidly gain altitude, thus becoming visible to the radars of the S-200 surface-to-air weapon systems of the 16th regiment based in al Damir.

The attack in the central Hama province targeted villages where most residents belong to the Ismaili branch of Shiite Islam, raising fears the extremists might massacre them, as they have in other minority communities in Syria and Iraq. Find us on Facebook too!

"Then there was finally a strike against the lead portion of that movement".

Coalition officials said Russian forces had apparently unsuccessfully tried to dissuade the pro-regime movement south.

Regime forces and their allies are advancing on the town of Makanah.

Describing the hours-long event as an "escalation-of-force situation", the official said it did not signal a strategic shift for the coalition, which remains focused on fighting IS group.

"Iran and its militias have kept (President Bashar-al) Assad in power".

The biggest exception to this was a United States cruise missile attack on a Syrian airbase last month in response to a suspected chemical attack by the regime.

It's not unusual for ISIS to kill Shi'te civilians in general, considering them both religious apostates and enemies of the Caliphate.

In recent days, near the border with Jordan, another set of U.S-backed rebel fighters have been on a collision course with government troops in the area of Tanf.

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