Army kills 19 militants in Deir Ezzor
A foreign-sponsored rights group says the Syrian army has killed at least 19 militants in the eastern province of Deir Ezzor.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies heavily on a network of spies working for the foreign-backed opposition, said on Sunday that the deaths occurred in clashes for control of Deir Ezzor military air base.
The group said there has been fierce fighting for the base for three days between the militants and government troops backed by National Defence Force auxiliaries.
The Syrian army has recently conducted successful clean-up operations across the country, inflicting heavy losses on the militants.
A recent British defense study showed that about 100,000 militants, fragmented into 1,000 groups, are fighting in Syria against the government and people.
The extracts of the study by defense consultancy IHS Jane’s were published on September 16.
IHS Jane’s estimates that some 10,000 militants are fighting for groups affiliated with al-Qaeda such as al-Nusra Front and the rest fight for different militant groups.
The analysis also said that a large number of extremists from foreign countries are also active in Syria.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies — especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey — are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.
According to the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and a total of 7.8 million of others displaced due to the violence.