Islamic State attacks Syrian state-held areas, 31 killed

Claudine Rigal
Mai 21, 2017

Isis kills 50 in attack on two Syrian villages Beirut Islamic State has killed more than 50 people in an attack on two government-held villages in Hama province, central Syria.

"The regime bombarded that village", he said.

The Observatory said the 31 killed include a man and his two sons slain in the village of Mabouja, adding that others are believed to have been killed as well.

A US airstrike struck pro-Syrian government forces that the coalition said posed a threat to American troops and allied rebels operating near the border with Jordan on Thursday, the first such close confrontation between USA forces and fighters backing President Bashar Assad. An earlier chemical weapons attack that killed more than 80 civilians is thought to have been launched from there.

A Syrian opposition media group, the Palmyra News Network, said the attack occurred at the Zarka juncture, about 27 kilometers (17 miles) from the border, destroyed a number of vehicles and caused casualties.

The Observatory said IS had seized control of Aqareb and part of Al-Mabujeh in the attack, which began with heavy shelling on a nearby regime checkpoint.

State news agency SANA said 52 people had been killed, among them 15 children, adding that numerous dead had been beheaded and mutilated.

IS previously attacked Al-Mabujeh in March 2015, killing more than 37 residents.

Rami Abdel Rahman, of the British based group, told AFP: 'IS fighters entered Jazrat al-Boushams village on Friday evening and executed 19 civilians, including two women and two children, with bullets to the head before torching the corpses'.

The fighting is near a strategically important highway linking Hama city with the Aleppo area further north.

IS was now fully in control of Aqareb, SOHR said, adding that the government had sent reinforcements to the area. Turkey views the U.S-backed Kurdish fighters as an extension of its own insurgent group.

"Brett McGurk is definitely giving support to the PKK and YPG".

But the United Nations said Thursday the warring sides had agreed to set up expert committees to discuss "constitutional issues".

The UN-sponsored process has been somewhat overshadowed by a parallel track convened in Kazakh capital Astana by regime supporters Russian Federation and Iran along with rebel backer Turkey.

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