On January 24, ISIS cells ambushed a bus carrying soldiers of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) on the Homs-Deir Ezzor highway in the central region.
In an official statement, the SAA said the bus was attacked by a terrorist group that came from the southeastern area of al-Tanf, which is occupied by US forces.
“At around 1:40 PM, a bus carrying soldiers on the Deir Ezzor-Palmyra road came under fire in the al-Malha al-Shula area from the south of the road by a terrorist group that came from the al-Tanf area,” the statement reads.
According to the army’s statement, three soldiers were killed and at least ten others were wounded as a result of the ambush.
ISIS confirmed its responsibility for the attack in a statement released by its news agency, Amaq. The terrorist group claimed that 20 soldiers were injured or killed.
Last month, a similar ambush by ISIS cells on the Homs-Deir Ezzor highway, known as the M20, claimed the lives of 25 people, including civilians.
In response, Syrian government forces launched a large-scale operation to secure the highway last week. According to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, as of January 24 the operation is still ongoing. Russian forces allegedly provide support not only in the air, but also on the ground.
“Russian forces started today to provide ground protection for joint [government] forces, after bringing in large military reinforcement to the region, as the campaign has entered it second consecutive week,” the monitoring group said in a report. “Russian fighter jets are still providing air support for the campaign.”
ISIS cells in Syria’s central region reportedly receive support from US-backed fighters based in al-Tanf. The US-led coalition has taken no real action against the terrorist group in the area.
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