ISIS claimed on December 22 that its cells in the southern Syrian governorate of Daraa had killed two Russian service members.
The terrorist group’s news agency, Amaq, claimed that the Russian service members were riding a motorcycle near the town of Nawa in the western Daraa countryside when they were ambushed and killed.
ISIS also released a photo showing two assault rifles, which were allegedly taken from the Russian service members.
The terrorist group’s claims are highly questionable as Russian troops don’t move in Syria on motorcycles. Moreover, each of the rifles allegedly captured from the soldiers was from a different type, which is very uncommon in Russian units.
If confirmed, this would be the terrorist group’s second attack on Russian forces in southern Syria this year. Last July, the group’s cells targeted a patrol of the Russian Military Police in eastern Daraa with an improvised explosive device (IED). However, no one was killed or injured.
Amaq said that the alleged attack on Russian troops was a part of an ongoing military campaign to avenge the death of the terrorist group’s leader Abu Baker al-Baghdadi and the group’s spokesman Abu Hassan al-Muhajir.
Regardless of these claims, ISIS stepped up its attacks in central and southern Syria right after the launch of a large-scale army operation in Greater Idlib. The terrorist group appears to be supporting its brothers-in-ideology in Greater Idlib, who sheltered its slain leader for months.