ISIS assault on Syrian army base kills 41

Militant Islamist fighters parade on military vehicles along the streets of northern Raqa province. (File photo: Reuters)

At least 27 Syrian regime forces have been killed in a jihadist assault on a military base in the northern province of Raqa, a monitoring group told Agence France-Presse on Thursday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 14 jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group had also been killed in the attack on Brigade 93, including three who blew themselves up at the facility.

The Observatory said ISIS fighters have also seized parts of the military base in Raqa after launching triple suicide bomb attacks at its gates.

The monitor said the extremist group was engaged in heavy fighting with troops at Brigade 93 in Raqa, where ISIS already controls the regional capital and significant amounts of territory.

The fighting began on Wednesday night, after three ISIS fighters blew themselves up at the entrance of the base and around it.

The initial explosions killed and wounded “dozens” of regime troops, the Observatory said, with director Rami Abdel Rahman saying there was no confirmed death toll yet.

The group said ISIS fighters “were in control of large parts of the base.”

Many regime troops had withdrawn to Brigade 93 last month, after ISIS seized the Division 17 base, killing at least 85 soldiers, according to the Observatory.

That assault left nearly all of Raqa province under IS control, except Brigade 93 and Tabaqa military airport, which were still held by the army.

The two-day assault on Division 17 saw more than 50 troops summarily executed, including some who were beheaded, with jihadists later putting their severed heads on display.

ISIS, which first emerged in Syria’s war in spring 2013, has since imposed near-total control in Raqa province and Deir Ezzor on the Iraq border.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43
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