Syria: 15 soldiers killed in attack on military bus
A British-based war monitor said the death toll could rise as most of the soldiers were 'seriously wounded'
Fifteen soldiers were killed Sunday in an Islamic State (IS) group attack on an army bus in the central Syrian desert, a war monitor said, as state media reported a "terrorist attack.”
Despite the fall of IS's "caliphate" in 2019, the group continues to launch deadly attacks from hideouts in the Syrian desert, which extends from the outskirts of the capital Damascus to the Iraqi border.
IS cells "attacked a military bus" in the Palmyra desert, "killing 15 soldiers and wounding 18 others,” the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said.
State news agency SANA reported 13 dead "including officers" and 18 wounded in a "terrorist attack" on a military bus.
SOHR, which relies on a network of sources across the country, said the death toll could rise as most of the soldiers were "seriously wounded.”
IS did not immediately claim responsibility for the attack.
Sunday's violence came after three regime soldiers died Friday east of Palmyra when the vehicle they were traveling in came under attack, SOHR added.
This year, 61 pro-regime soldiers and Iran-affiliated militiamen have been killed in IS attacks in the desert of Syria, the monitor said.
About half a million people have been killed and millions have been displaced since the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011, after nationwide protests against the government were met with a brutal crackdown.
It escalated into a devastating war that drew in regional and international powers.
Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi, a former leader of IS, blew himself up in early February during a raid by US forces on his house in Syria's northwest region of Idlib, Syria's last major opposition bastion.