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Syria Today – ISIS Attack Kills 7 Fighters; Israel Strikes Hezbollah in Quneitra

Your daily brief of the English-speaking press on Syria

On Friday, the Islamic State group launched an attack in the al-Boukamal area, resulting in the death of seven members of pro-regime forces in Syria. Simultaneously, an Israeli drone strike in southwest Syria claimed the lives of three members of the Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah.

Islamic State attack kills 7 pro-regime fighters in Syria

Seven members of pro-regime forces were killed in Syria on Friday in an attack by the Islamic State group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says.

The attackers were on motorbikes when they opened fire on a military post, “killing at least seven pro-regime fighters”, in the vicinity of Boukamal on the border with Iraq, the NGO’s director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

This year, IS attacks have killed at least 385 members of pro-regime forces and 165 civilians, according to the Observatory, which has a vast network of sources in Syria.

Rahman said those killed on Friday included both Syrians and “foreigners.”

After rising to power in 2014 in parts of Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State saw its self-proclaimed “caliphate” waver after successive offensives against it in both countries, which were launched with the support of an international anti-jihadist coalition.

The defeat of IS in Syria was declared in 2019, but the coalition remained in the country to fight against jihadist cells that continue to operate there.

The conflict in Syria, sparked in 2011 by the iron-fisted repression of pro-democracy demonstrations, has left more than half a million dead.

More than twelve years of bloody conflict have divided the country into zones of influence.

President Bashar Assad’s regime has regained control of a large part of the country, with the support of its Russian and Iranian allies.

Israeli drone strike in Syria killed three Hezbollah members

Three members of the Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah were killed in an Israeli drone strike in southwest Syria on Friday, according to two regional sources close to Damascus, Reuters reported.

The strike also killed a Syrian who was accompanying them, one of the sources said.

The Israeli army declined to comment on the strike in Quneitra, also known as Baath City, near the frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Israel has for years carried out attacks on what it has described as Iran-linked targets in Syria, where Tehran’s influence has grown since it began supporting President Bashar al-Assad in a civil war that started in 2011.

Reporting by Laila Bassam in Beirut and Maayan Lubell in Jerusalem Writing by Tom Perry Editing by Mark Potter

Iran says resolute in expanding all-out trade ties with Syria

Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber has underscored the “strategic and amicable” relations between the Islamic Republic and Syria.

The Iranian official said Tehran is determined to expand economic cooperation with Damascus.

“The Iranian government and nation attach profound significance to Syria, and consider the nation’s stability, independence, welfare and prosperity as among their priorities,” Mokhber said in a meeting with visiting Syrian Prime Minister Hussein Arnous in Tehran on Saturday.

The senior Iranian official also mentioned the ongoing Israeli military onslaught on the Gaza Strip. Mokhber said the international community is witnessing circumstances that are matchless in history.

The crimes being perpetrated in Gaza against the Palestinian women and children amount to crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes, Mokhber said, criticizing international institutions for their failure to adopt an effective measure in the face of such cruelties.

“The burning rage of the United States and the Zionist regime stems from the fact that their grandeur fell apart in light of Operation Al-Aqsa Storm [launched on October 7]. They were under delusion about their might, and had propagated such illusions worldwide,” the Iranian vice president said.

US conducts military drills in Syria after uptick of Resistance ops.

Informed sources tell Al Mayadeen that the US fears ground operations against its bases and troops.

The International Coalition, headed by the United States, has conducted extensive military drills at several of its bases in the countryside of al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor, as a precaution against any new attacks by Resistance factions.

This comes after an uptick in attacks against US bases in Iraq and Syria, with the Resistance confirming it had conducted 11 operations against US military bases in Syria and Iraq in one day only on Friday.

US occupation helicopters flew at low altitudes over al-Hasakah city, its countryside, and the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor from the early hours of the morning until Saturday evening, coinciding with the sounds of gunfire and explosions reported within its bases.

Informed sources told Al Mayadeen that the International Coalition “conducted live ammunition exercises, involving helicopters and drones, at the Qasrak and Tell Baidar bases in the northwestern countryside of al-Hasakah and the Conoco base in the northern countryside of Deir Ezzor.”

They added that the exercises are part of a broad operation launched by Washington under the name “Blue Arrow”, which will last for several days and include a number of US bases in Syria.

The aim is to “simulate responding to hypothetical attacks on US bases, along with training on attacking fortified positions and liberating prisoners.”

The sources revealed that the United States “fears ground attacks on its bases and the capture of its personnel.”

Therefore, they are “conducting exercises simulating such attacks.”

The sources pointed out that the Resistance attacks “have had a significant psychological impact on US soldiers, after seeing some of their compatriots being injured, cases of nervous breakdowns recorded, fearing a similar fate.”

Attacks on US forces in Iraq and Syria up by 45%

The US Pentagon has noted a significant surge in the rate of attacks against the US military in Iraq and Syria, as per Israeli media.

The US Department of Defense has stated that the rate of attacks against the US military in Iraq and Syria has increased by 45% in the last three weeks.

This comes shortly after sources told Al Mayadeen on Friday that Resistance factions targeted four US occupation bases in Syria in the past hours.

The sources mentioned that the attack included the al-Omar and Conoco bases in the countryside of Deir Ezzor, in addition to the Kharab al-Jir and al-Shadadi bases in the countryside of al-Hasakah.

Furthermore, the sources highlighted that this marks the first time that this number of bases has been targeted in such a short period.

Al Mayadeen’s correspondent in Baghdad also reported that the Islamic Resistance targeted US forces at Erbil Airport with a number of suicide drones.

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