The Islamic State (IS) group attacked Syrian military checkpoints in the central province of Homs on Thursday, killing 17 soldiers, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The IS militants beheaded three out of the 17 soldiers, who were ambushed when the militant group attacked two checkpoints in the eastern countryside of Homs on Thursday morning, Xinhua reported.

The Britain-based watchdog group also reported loss of lives of the IS assailants, without further elaboration.

It added that clashes took place between the Syrian troops and militants in the town of Saen in the countryside of the province, with reports on losses from both sides.