A so-called monitor group says the death toll from a spate of attacks and bombings carried out by members of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the country’s southwestern province of Sweida has surpassed 180.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Wednesday that three attackers set off their explosive belts in Sweida city, located more than 100 kilometers southeast of the capital Damascus, as other blasts hit villages to the north and east. A fourth bomb explosion hit the city later.
“Daesh members then stormed villages in the province’s northeast and killed residents in their homes,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.
He added that bomb blasts and raids claimed the lives of 183 people, including 89 civilians.
The Observatory noted that the remaining 94 dead were local fighters from the pro-government popular defense groups, who had taken up arms to defend their villages against Daesh terrorists.
Abdel Rahman highlighted that the death toll is expected to further rise as some of the wounded victims are in critical condition and tens of people remain unaccounted for.
Daesh has claimed responsibility for the violence in a statement, saying “soldiers of the caliphate” attacked Syrian government positions and security outposts in Sweida, then detonated their booby-trapped belts.
The bloodiest death toll in Sweida since the start of the Syrian conflict came as Syrian government controls almost all of the province, but Daesh has control over pockets of land in its desert northern and eastern parts.
Syrian army troops are now closing in on foreign-sponsored Takfiri militants in the neighboring provinces of Dara’a and Quneitra.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.
On May 21, the General Command of the Syrian Army and Armed Forces announced in a statement that complete security was restored to Damascus and its countryside after al-Hajar al-Aswad district and al-Yarmouk camp were totally purged of Daesh terrorists.
The development was preceded by flushing the Takfiris out of the towns of Yalda, Babbila and Beit Sahem on the southern outskirts of Damascus.