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IS attack on displaced Syrians kills 18: Monitor

AFP | Beirut |

A jihadist car bombing targeting displaced Syrians in the northeastern province of Hasakeh today killed at least 18 people, including Kurdish security forces, a monitor said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attack was carried out by the Islamic State group and took place in an area where Syrians displaced from Deir Ezzor province usually gather.

“At least 18 people, including displaced persons and members of the Asayesh Kurdish security forces, were killed,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

Two separate offensives targeting IS are underway in the eastern oil-rich province of Deir Ezzor, one by Russia-backed government forces and the other by US-backed Kurdish-Arab fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

SDF spokesman Talal Sello confirmed a car bombing targeting people displaced from Deir Ezzor, saying it took place in the Hasakeh’s southern area of Abu Fass.

“Dozens of people were killed and wounded,” Sello told AFP.

After the blast, “the civilians escaped towards desert areas where mines exploded and the toll rose”, he added, without providing further details.

Much of Hasakeh province and Hasakeh city are under the control of a Kurdish “autonomous administration” with smaller parts of both controlled by the central government.

Abu Fass is where Kurdish authorities gather people displaced by conflict before allowing them to enter camps where they can shelter, the Observatory said.

Earlier today, the monitoring group, which relies on a network of sources inside war-torn Syria, said regime forces had retaken four neighbourhoods in the town of Mayadeen in Deir Ezzor province.

The state news agency SANA confirmed that regime forces had re-entered Mayadeen.

Last week, IS succeeded in expelling Syrian forces from Mayadeen two days after they entered the town.

A Syrian army source had recently described Mayadeen as the “military capital” of the jihadist organisation in Deir Ezzor.