Fifty-three killed in latest ISIS attack in Syria’s Homs governorate
One week ago, ISIS launched a similar attack against truffle harvesters in the area, and kidnapped dozens whose fate remains unknown
By News Desk - February 18 2023

ISIS sign in the Syrian desert. (Photo credit: AFP/Getty images)

Fifty-three people were killed in an ISIS attack on 17 February in the countryside of Al-Sukhna, near the Palmyra region in Syria’s central governorate of Homs, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported, marking the extremist group’s second attack in that area in less than a week.

According to SOHR, the attack was carried out by ISIS militants riding motorcycles, killing dozens of civilians and several Syrian servicemen in the Al-Dhabyat area of Al-Sukhna’s southern countryside.

“[ISIS] killed 53 people on Friday while they were picking truffles in Sokhna in the countryside near Homs,” SOHR said. Seven were government soldiers, and the other 46 were truffle harvesters.

According to SOHR, there is a gas field in the Al-Dhabyat area, as well as a presence of ‘Iranian militias,’ referring to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The IRGC has played a pivotal role in the fight against ISIS in Syria, and has been known to carry out operations in the Syrian desert near Palmyra, where the extremist group’s cells remain active.

Just one week ago, ISIS attacked 75 people with machine guns while they were collecting truffles in the Palmyra area. At the time, SOHR reported the death of 11 people and the disappearance of over 60 in an apparent mass kidnapping.

SOHR said on Friday that 25 civilians were released by the extremist group, after “conducting an investigation” to make sure they were not affiliated with the Syrian government.

“The fate of 34 people is still unknown,” and around 16 have been executed by the militants, the war-monitor added.

Over the past year, Syria has witnessed a surge in ISIS activity, which many analysts and officials have suggested is being encouraged by Washington in order to create a pretext for US military forces to prolong their occupation in the country.

According to Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), US occupation forces in Syria have recently been training dozens of ISIS and Al-Qaeda militants at the eastern Al-Tanf base to carry out attacks inside the territory of former Soviet states.

Washington worked with Saudi intelligence to resurrect the Islamic State organization in Iraq (ISI) in 2010 as part of a regime change effort targeting the Syrian government. Militants from ISI launched attacks against the Syrian government under the cover of anti-government protests in 2011, and these militants formed the basis of later Al-Qaeda affiliated groups fighting with US and allied support against Bashar al-Assad’s government, including Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham, and ISIS.

Most Popular