Four civilians were killed on March 16 in a surprise attack by ISIS cells on the area of Souaniye in the southern Homs countryside, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA).
Pro-government sources said that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is investigating the incident and how the terrorists were able to reach the government-held area.
ISIS controls over 4,000km2 of the Homs desert, which lays between eastern Homs and western Deir Ezzor. Last year, the terrorist group launched a surprise attack from its pocket there on the town of al-Qaryatayn, near Souaniye. This suggests that the new attack was launched from the same pocket.
In the last few weeks, ISIS intensified their activities in the Homs desert. On march 8, the terrorist group’s fighters captured three personnel of the SAA south of the city of al-Sukhnah in eastern Homs.
The SAA is currently unable to deal with the growing threat of ISIS in central Syria due to the tense situation around the governorate of Idlib. Local observers believe that this situation may change in the upcoming few months.