ISIS Kills 215 in Southwest Syria, in Deadliest Attack for Years

Syrian official news agency SANA mourners attend a mass funeral of people killed a day earlier by a series of suicide bombings launched by the Islamic State’s fighters on the eastern and northern countryside of the souther

Syrian official news agency SANA mourners attend a mass funeral of people killed a day earlier by a series of suicide bombings launched by the Islamic State’s fighters on the eastern and northern countryside of the souther

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a series of deadly attacks and suicide blasts in southern Syrian city of Sweida that killed dozens of people.

Many local vigilante groups set up checkpoints across the city as fears persisted of renewed attacks, another resident contacted by phone said.

The head of the Sweida provincial health authority told the pro-Damascus Sham FM 75 Islamic State fighters had also been killed.

The Britain-based Observatory said three suicide attackers set off booby-trapped belts in Sweida city, as other blasts hit villages to the north and east.

"They kidnapped more than 40 people, all of them women or children", Bou Ammar said.

The attacks took place in and around the government-held city of Sweida, state media and monitors reported. It said the dead included civilians, pro-government fighters and IS militants.

It put the death toll for those attacks and others elsewhere in the surrounding province, also called Sweida, at 38.

The Observatory said government forces battled militants who stormed the villages from an ISIS pocket north-east of the city.

There have been days of bombing as Russian-backed Syrian government forces advance on rebel-held positions near the 1974 ceasefire line with Israel.

Syrian official news agency SANA mourners carry a coffin of more than 200 people who were killed a day earlier by a series of suicide bombings launched by the Islamic State’s fighters on the eastern and northern countrysid

Most of the victims were killed in raids on villages in the northeast of the province.

A handful of suicide bombers on motor-bikes went on a rampage reminiscent of some of the group's bloodiest attacks during the height of their power when large swathes of Iraq and Syria was under their control.

The army and villagers regained control of a hill and broke a brief siege of another nearby village after clashes, Ikhbariyah said.

The IDF said it fired two Patriot missiles at the Syrian "Sukhoi" fighter jet, which took off from the Tayfur ("T-4") airbase in central Syria and flew some two kilometers into Israeli airspace before being intercepted.

Video footage broadcast by Syria's state-run television network on Friday showed the hospital at the Quneitra Crossing and in close proximity to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Sky News Arabia reported that the plane crashed inside southwest Syria, in the jihadist-held Yarmouk Basin, but did not give any information on the fate of the pilots.

Despite pro-government forces ousting the group from urban centres in eastern Syria past year, surprise IS raids in recent months have killed dozens of regime and allied fighters.

In the worst violence to hit the area since the country's conflict began, the militants also reportedly abducted at least 18 people, activists said.

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