New Delhi: Islamic State launched a bomb and gun attack on a Western-backed Syrian rebel camp near the Jordanian border on Wednesday, according to the rebels, who said they had killed at least 30 of the attackers and suffered at least three casualties themselves.
A suicide bomber rammed an explosive-laden vehicle into the camp belonging to the Forces of Martyr Ahmad al-Abdo rebel group in a sparsely populated desert area near where the borders of Syria, Jordan and Iraq meet, the rebels` spokesman, Saeed Saif, said. They then attacked several rebel outposts.
"We repelled the attack by Daesh (Islamic State) on several areas, and they failed to make any progress and have retreated," Saif told Reuters.
The Force of Martyr Ahmed al-Abdo was one of the earliest Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups to get U.S.-made anti-tank missiles and is one of the groups aligned on the so-called Southern Front that a coalition of Western and Arab countries support.
That backing is part of a strategy of preventing opposition-held southern Syria and the southeastern desert area from falling into the hands of radical jihadist groups.
The group`s leader, Saleem Bakour, was killed in June by a suspected Islamic State militant.[nL8N1914IU ]
Islamic State later said in a statement by its Damascus province that a suicide bomber named Abu Hafs al-Damashi had driven his car into the headquarters of those who it called Sahwat, a term used for forces backed by the West who are viewed as apostates by the ultra-hardline Sunni militants, killing at least 19 of them.
The group said simultaneous attacks on several locations within the camp also killed another seven FSA fighters and were also able seize weapons before ending their operation.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack launched from the same area in June when a car crossed into Jordan and killed seven Jordanian border guards.
U.S.-backed rebels based in the Syrian border town of al-Tanf, further northeast, periodically clash with Islamic State militants who have a presence in the vast sparsely populated southeastern Syria desert.