Hama: Two attacks by Islamic State result in ten deaths

Islamic State militants during their pledge of allegiance to the organization's leader - August 10, 2023 (Islamic State's official identifier on Telegram)

Islamic State militants during their pledge of allegiance to the organization's leader - August 10, 2023 (Islamic State's official identifier on Telegram)

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The Islamic State organization claimed that it carried out two operations east of Hama governorate in the countryside of Salamiyah city, targeting members of the Syrian regime forces and resulting in the death of eight members, in addition to two others targeted by a separate attack in the same area.

The organization added in its official weekly newspaper Al-Naba today, Friday, March 1st, that their fighters carried out the attack targeting members of the regime forces who were on a truffle-hunting trip east of Salamiyah city.

The attacking fighters wounded other elements who were trying to flee to the nearby military barracks, according to Al-Naba.

In a separate operation, the Islamic State organization stated that it attacked two members of the regime forces who were also truffle hunting east of Salamiyah city, managing to kill one of them and capturing the other before killing him later, according to the newspaper.

In the same region, the official Syrian news agency (SANA) had previously reported the death of five civilians while they were collecting truffles in the area of Aqrabyat east of the Salamiyah countryside in Hama, due to a landmine explosion, following a similar incident where 14 civilians were killed in Raqqa.

The news agency did not mention any military personnel among the deceased or that an attack occurred in the area.

Official media have not commented on the two attacks until the time of writing this news.

Targeting the SDF too

The Islamic State’s operations were not limited to areas under the control of the Syrian regime in the past few days. Al-Naba newspaper in its weekly issue claimed the fighters carried out other operations targeting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the provinces of al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor.

Al-Naba mentioned that one of the operations carried out by the organization in the city of Al-Basira east of Deir Ezzor city resulted in deaths and injuries, which were not precisely determined, in addition to another target in the village of Al-Twamia, and another separate one in al-Subha town.

The organization’s attacks extended towards the town of Dhiban, which has been on security alert by the SDF for more than five months following its confrontations with regime-backed tribal groups.

Also, in the area of al-Kasrah, the Islamic State organization targeted an SDF vehicle on the road to al-Sa’wa town, resulting in deaths and injuries, according to Al-Naba.

The organization’s operations against the SDF did not deviate from their routine pattern but extended to the city of Qamishli in the north of al-Hasakah, where the organization targeted an SDF headquarters in the city, as announced through its newspaper Al-Naba.

Continual escalation

Over the past years, it was possible to estimate the Islamic State’s weekly operations, as they did not exceed 20 targets per week, and in its extreme cases, there were 10 in areas controlled by the SDF in northeastern Syria.

Since the beginning of the current year, the organization’s operations have exceeded their usual limits, as it announced the execution of 32 operations during the first week of 2024, then went on to announce 34 operations in the following week, which were distributed between areas controlled by the Syrian regime, and the SDF.

In April 2023, the US State Department in a press briefing on the Islamic State’s operations in Syria and Iraq stated that the organization’s attacks had decreased in Syria and Iraq during the first months of the same year, describing that period as “the most peaceful” in terms of the decline in the organization’s operations.

UN experts believe that the Islamic State organization has between 5,000 and 7,000 elements in Syria and Iraq, while its fighters in Afghanistan pose the “most serious terrorist threat,” coinciding with the organization’s attempts to rebuild itself, recruit new people, especially from the camps in northeastern Syria, according to a report published by the American Associated Press agency, and also from “vulnerable communities” in the countries neighboring Syria.

 

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