BEIRUT

Middle East

Syria clashes kill 70 ISIS jihadists: Activists

Smoke rises during what activists said was an air raid by warplanes operated by forces of Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad around al-Tabqa military base at a government-controlled airport that is surrounded by militants, west of Raqqa city, August 21, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

BEIRUT: At least 70 Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria jihadist fighters have been killed in 48 hours of clashes with Syrian army troops in the northern province of Raqqa, an activist group said Friday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said ISIS had launched a major push late Tuesday on Tabqa military airport, the last remaining army stronghold in Raqqa, which has been largely overrun by the jihadists.

The assailants had carried out car bomb attacks in their assault but failed to make any breakthrough, the Britain-based group said.

"At least 70 ISIS fighters have been lost since early Wednesday in regime air raids, Scud missile blasts and mine explosions," Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

He said the military was also using barrel bombs to attack ISIS from the air, the same improvised and crude weaponry it has deployed against rebel-held areas of the northern city of Aleppo with deadly impact.

On Thursday, the army airlifted reinforcements into Tabqa by helicopter, said Abdel Rahman, whose group relies on information from activists and medics on the ground.

ISIS military gains in Raqqa and Aleppo provinces have prompted the Syrian government for the first time to launch intensive air strikes against the jihadists who have seized large swathes of territory straddling Syria and Iraq.

Rebel groups have in the past accused the Damascus regime of avoiding attacks on ISIS as the Sunni extremist group battles more moderate anti-regime forces.

ISIS initially worked alongside other rebel groups in Syria, but they turned against it because of its abuses and its bid to dominate seized territory.

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here