IS kills more than 50 in central Syria attack

Lynette Rowe
May 19, 2017

Last month, the USA fired 59 missiles at a government air base in central Syria as punishment for a chemical attack blamed on Assad's forces that killed almost 90 people.

ISIL terrorist group killed more than 50 people in an attack on two villages in central Syria's Hama province on Thursday, a monitor said. Turkey views the U.S-backed Kurdish fighters as an extension of its own insurgent group.

The Observatory said IS had seized control of Aqareb and part of Al-Mabujeh.

It said IS fighters had mutilated the bodies of villagers and looted their homes, and said that 15 of the dead were children.

Speaking to reporters, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the USA will defend its troops in case of "aggressive" steps against them.

The Observatory, a Britain-based monitor of the war, said that at least 15 of those killed were civilians, five of them children, and that three of them died in execution-style killings.

He said the fighting was continuing and had spread to the outskirts of nearby villages.

The militants had said earlier on social media that they had captured the village.

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Hostilities have intensified in that area, as supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad try to advance and take control of Maskanah town, in the eastern end of Aleppo, and other surrounding areas.

The head of the National Hospital in Salamiyeh, Dr. Noufal Safar, said the hospital received 52 bodies, including 11 women and 17 children. He said some of them were beheaded and others had their limbs amputated. A separate source in the hospital said 120 people were wounded.

The minotor said the attack was the most violent so far this year by IS on the road.

Syria's state news agency also reported 52 people had been killed in the IS assault, though it described the attack as against Aqareb only.

IS has massacred thousands of Shiites and other opponents in Syria and Iraq, often boasting about the killings and circulating photos and videos of them online.

"Dozens of people are also missing, but it is not clear if they were kidnapped by Daesh", said the Observatory's chief Rami Abdurrahman, using an Arabic acronym to refer to the group.

ISIS claimed the death toll was even higher, with their Aamaq news agency claiming that they'd killed at least 100 people, identifying them as all Alawites.

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