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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

At least 30 killed in ISIS attack on Syrian army near Palmyra

Suicide bombers and armoured vehicles were used in the attack at dawn near a dam southeast of the ancient city

A member of the Syrian pro-government forces carries the national flag as he stands in front of damaged buildings in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp on the southern outskirts of the capital Damascus on May 22, 2018. Louai Beshara / AFP
A member of the Syrian pro-government forces carries the national flag as he stands in front of damaged buildings in the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp on the southern outskirts of the capital Damascus on May 22, 2018. Louai Beshara / AFP

At least 30 Syrian army troops and Iran-backed forces were killed on Tuesday when ISIS attacked a military outpost near Palmyra in eastern Syria, a war monitor and residents said.

Suicide bombers and armoured vehicles were used in the attack at dawn near a dam southeast of the ancient city.

This comes a day after forces loyal to President Bashar Al Assad flushed out the extremists from their last enclave in southern Damascus.

ISIS has seized Palmyra twice since Syria’s civil war broke out in 2011 and destroyed priceless artifacts.

AFP cited a former residents from the eastern Homs countryside near Palmyra still in touch with local people who said the militants had come from hideouts in the vast stretch of desert they once controlled. He added that at least 30 troops and militiamen were killed.

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In recent months ISIS has intensified hit-and-run attacks in an area whose terrain makes it difficult for the army to secure, relying on ambushes to replenish their weapons and equipment, activists say.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 26 people fighting on the Syrian regime side were killed, including 17 non-Syrians, including Iranians.

Pro-government social media sites gave lists of 16 officers and soldiers killed or injured and said it was verifying names of others who were killed.

ISIS, which was driven from most of the Euphrates River valley last year, now controls only two besieged desert areas in eastern Syria.

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